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    Panorama of the International Children's Center Artek in the Crimea.

    Five Facts About Legendary Soviet 'Artek' Summer Camp in Crimea

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    On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was delighted to entertain children at the Artek summer camp in Crimea. Below are five things you should know about the legendary children's summer haven.

    Fact 1

    The history of the Artek camp is closely related to the Civil War of 1918-1920. After the war a lot of wounded soldiers and commanders of the Red Army were sent for rehabilitation to Crimea, where the weather conditions and modern medical facilities allowed fighters to quickly recover. The camp was first established in 1925.

    • Participants of the Back to the Future historical re-enactment on the 90th anniversaty of the Artek International Children's Camp in Crimea.
      Participants of the Back to the Future historical re-enactment on the 90th anniversaty of the Artek International Children's Camp in Crimea.
      © Sputnik/ Maks Vetrov
    • Buildings of Morskoy (Seaside) camp of the International Children's Center Artek.
      Buildings of Morskoy (Seaside) camp of the International Children's Center Artek.
      © Sputnik/ Sergey Krasnouhov
    • Children at a new climbing gym on the anniversary of the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      Children at a new climbing gym on the anniversary of the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      © Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko
    • A short sea trip at the Artek international children center.
      A short sea trip at the Artek international children center.
      © Sputnik/ Maks Vetrov
    • Meeting old and new generations in the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      Meeting old and new generations in the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      © Sputnik/ Maks Vetrov
    • A swimming pool at Artek international children's camp in Crimea.
      A swimming pool at Artek international children's camp in Crimea.
      © Sputnik/ Maks Vetrov
    • Children in the canteen of the Artek international children's center in Crimea.
      Children in the canteen of the Artek international children's center in Crimea.
      © Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko
    • Yantarny summer camp at the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      Yantarny summer camp at the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      © Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko
    • Children at the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      Children at the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      © Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko
    • Children's fleet at the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      Children's fleet at the Artek International Children's Center in Crimea.
      © Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko
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    © Sputnik/ Maks Vetrov
    Participants of the Back to the Future historical re-enactment on the 90th anniversaty of the Artek International Children's Camp in Crimea.

    Fact 2
    The camp was the first resort for young pioneers — the Soviet equivalent of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Unlike other children's recreational facilities, Artek is open not only in summer, but all year round. So children can go to the camp not only during the holidays, but also when they have health problems and need a break from stressful everyday life. There is a school designed for 1,224 students at the camp so that the children are able to continue their education while at the same time getting some much needed rest.

    Fact 3

    Today, Artek is a huge complex consisting of ten camps, which can simultaneously host 3,600 children (and up to 30,000 per year). The length of its coastline is 7 kilometers, and the total size of the territory, including all farms and protected areas reaches 208 hectares. This is comparable to the size of the state of Monaco!

    Fact 4

    In Soviet times, Artek was a landmark of the USSR. The camp was visited by children and adults from all over the world, including prominent people, like for example Indira Gandhi. Cosmonauts and astronauts, musicians and actors have always been very welcome there too. Yuri Gagarin even presented his space suit to the camp's museum.

    Fact 5

    The most remarkable event, however, was the visit of American Samantha Smith. In 1982, the girl sent a letter to Yuri Andropov asking about his attitude toward the war. The Soviet leader was so impressed by her move that he invited Samantha to the Soviet Union. During her two-week visit, the young American visited Moscow and Leningrad, and spent a few days in the camp, living the life of an ordinary pioneer.

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    Artek summer camp, Soviet Union, Crimea, Russia
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