Vladimir Putin teams up with Steven Seagal to promote Stalin-era physical fitness classes in Moscow


Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for nationwide Stalin-era physical fitness classes at an event aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle among young people with Hollywood star Steven Seagal in Moscow.

In a meeting at a martial arts school on Moscow's outskirts, Putin called for physical education rooted in a Soviet-era system.

He said that it would be quite appropriate to recall the positive experience of past decades when the so-called GTO, Ready for Labour and Defence, was in use in Russia. The GTO mass physical training programme was introduced in the 1930s under Stalin.

According to Guardian, Putin told government officials, school teachers and coaches that the revival of this system in a new, modern format could bring major benefits.

He told the education and sports ministers to study the issue and said students' performance under the system should be taken into account when universities consider applications.

He has been seeking to increase Russians'' life expectancy and stem a demographic decline that has seen the population fall to 141.9 million in 2011 from 148.6 million in 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, the report added.

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