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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Call to ban 'sexy' Russian mags
By Sebastian Usher
BBC world media correspondent

Molotok magazine cover
Molotok insists it campaigns against social ills
One of Russia's highest legal officials is calling for three popular magazines aimed at teenagers to be closed down.

Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinskiy says the magazines - Molotok, Cool and Cool Girl - promote an unhealthy interest in sex and drugs.

Staff at the magazines have defended them, saying they encourage a responsible attitude to both sex and drugs amongst teenagers.

Molotok, the best-known, sells 250,000 copies every week.

Mr Fridinskiy has condemned the three magazines as exploiting teenagers' interest in sex by publishing explicit pictures and stories.

He said that the magazines also carried erotic advertisements for mobile phones - all aimed at encouraging teenagers to start having sex early.

And he said that the magazines promoted a drug-using lifestyle.

He has called on the state media regulator to close down all three.

Immoral or responsible?

Molotok has been at the forefront of promoting a new breed of young Russian stars, including the pop duo, Tatu.

It has been attacked in the past by political and religious groups for its alleged immorality.

It is produced by one of Russia's leading publishers, Kommersant Publishing House.

A spokesman for the magazine has denied Mr Fridinskiy's charges, saying that Molotok has regularly campaigned for responsible attitudes by teenagers to sex and drugs.

He said it was ready to prove its innocence in court.

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