06:11 GMT08 August 2020
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    People behind so-called death groups, which are closed-membership communities on social media that persuade children and young people to commit suicide, are no different from murderers, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

    NOVO-OGARYOVO (Sputnik) — At a working meeting with United Russia ruling party faction leader Vladimir Vasilyev, the president was briefed on the party's view on the "death groups" problem. Vasilyev said the the party was determined to gain control over the situation.

    "What is inciting suicide? It is an attempt on somebody's life… They even earn money from this. How are they different from murderers? They are not different at all," Putin said.

    The "death groups" issue has drawn attention after a number of suicides by Russian teenagers were linked to certain closed-membership public groups on social media. Young people are reportedly asked to participate in a game, performing different tasks with the last one involving suicide.

    So far, one of the curators of a "death group" in Russia, Filipp Budeykin, was jailed for three years for inciting youths to commit suicide.

    The death groups and death games have spread across the globe with their victims being reportedly found in such countries as US, Spain, Brazil, Chile, China and India.

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    Tags:
    group, death, suicide, Vladimir Putin, Russia
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