Parody or propaganda, the new Russian video campaign released on July 31 seeks to attract expatriates, highlighting the country’s “beautiful women, cheap gasoline and traditional values”.
1. “Moving to Russia”
Much like a tourism campaign video, the 53-second clip shared by the Russian Embassy in Bangladesh titled “Move to Russia” sells the country to expats, listing all the benefits that can be found there. The clip features “beautiful women”, but one of the women featured appears to be a Ukrainian model, Sonya Kapitonova, whose father is said to have fought in Ukraine.
Euronews reports that the video was originally posted on YouTube by a pro-Russian group called Signal. “Delicious food, beautiful women, cheap gas, rich history,” thunders the voice. World famous literature, unique architecture, fertile soil, cheap electricity and water. Traditional values, Christianity, uncancellation culture, hospitality, vodka,” the voiceover says.
While war between Russia and Ukraine remains a grim reality, threatening stability in Europe, the video pokes fun at the sanctions imposed on Russia describing the country as “a strong economy that can withstand thousands of sanctions”.
There is no “cancel culture” in Russia and it offers delicious food with a rich history and literature, “all the more reason to move to Russia”, the video continues.
On August 1, the Russian Embassy in Spain tweeted the 53-second clip with the titles of the video followed by the white, blue and red hearts of the Russian flag on Monday. However, it is still unclear whether the video is an official Kremlin production.
Time to move to Russia 🤍💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/4CZL1Nt4Gi
— Russia in Spain (@EmbajadaRusaES) July 29, 2022
2. “Winter is coming”
Equally polemical, the video ends with the phrase “Move to Russia. Don’t delay, winter is coming” – probably alluding to, or more ominously, poking fun at the energy crisis currently affecting European countries and sowing rift among EU countries across the bloc.
“Does ‘winter is coming’ mean they could stop pumping gas to Europe (or otherwise spread more misery)?” American author Kurt Anderson asked on Twitter, calling the video of “self-satire”.
Fascinating sinister autosatire. But does the punchline: “Winter is coming” mean they might stop pumping gas to Europe (or otherwise spread more misery), that in the US liberals are about to to make life intolerable for good white Christians, or did they just want to memorize it on high? https://t.co/KtmOsw8twJ
— Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen) July 30, 2022
Online sentiment among viewers remains divided, with some saying Russia released a tourist video that mocks the West and others saying Russia is being hounded simply for posting such a controversial video.