BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Police have closed a summer youth camp on a mountain in western Serbia organized by Russian and Serbian far-right groups after a public outcry.
The camp on Mount Zlatibor included children as young as 12 dressed in military uniforms who were trained by Russian and Serbian instructors on how to use guns and knives. A similar exercise was undertaken last year in Russia.
Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Friday the camp was dismantled "because of possible abuse of children" and the participants were sent home.
The organizers of the "Patriotic Youth" camp have claimed its intention was to teach children self-defense skills and develop traditional Serb-Russian friendship.
Serbia, which formally wants to join the European Union, has been under strong Russian pressure to shelve its pro-Western course.