MOSCOW, May 17 (UPI) -- The head of Russia's Communist Party congratulated about 3,000 Moscow kids who signed up for the Pioneer Movement Sunday in a ceremony at Lenin's mausoleum.
Vladimir Zyuganov told the youngsters that donning the movement's trademark red neckerchief signified they had "taken on the responsibility of fulfilling the best traditions of our great Soviet nation."
"I congratulate you, thank you for this responsible step, and hope that you will, with honor, declare your loyalty to the red banner," Zyuganov said.
The new Pioneers responded by chanting movement slogans, laying flowers in honor of Lenin and posing for photos with Zyuganov.
May 19 was always Pioneer Day in the USSR, but is no longer an official holiday in Russia.