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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 7, 2004, /RIA-NOVOSTI NATALIA GORBUNOVA/ -- President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation is to leave for the city of Zvenigorod near Moscow today, visiting a children's home at a local monastery there.

    The Russian head of state, who traditionally visits Orthodox Christian shrines every Christmas Day, travelled to the ancient Russian city of Suzdal 200 km from Moscow January 6, touring the local Spaso-Yevfimiyevy monastery and attending a Christmas service at an ancient city church.

    Putin is to visit a children's home at Zvenigorod's Savvino-Storozhevsky monastery, which was founded in November 2001. The orphanage accommodates 28 boys aged between six and sixteen; these children either come from underprivileged families or are orphans. The home, which facilitates their comprehensive development, has game rooms, sports facilities and a library, as well as hobby groups, which offer lessons in wood-cutting, clay molding and drawing. Moreover, the boys attend school in a nearby town, also studying at Zvenigorod's sports and music schools.

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