Parody or propaganda, Russia’s new video campaign published on 31 July is looking to attract expats, showcasing the country’s “beautiful women, cheap gas and traditional values”.
1. “Move to Russia”
Much like a tourism campaign video, the 53-second clip shared by the Russian Embassy in Bangladesh and branded ‘Move to Russia’ is selling the country to expats, listing all the perks that can be found there. The clip features “beautiful women”, yet one of the featured women seems to be a Ukrainian model, Sonya Kapitonova, whose father is reportedly fighting in Ukraine.
Euronews reports that the video was originally posted on YouTube by a pro-Russian group called Signal. “Delicious cuisine, beautiful women, cheap gas, rich history,” the voice booms. World-famous literature, unique architecture, fertile soil, cheap electricity and water. Traditional values, Christianity, no cancel culture, hospitality, vodka,” says the voiceover.
As warfare between Russian and Ukraine remains a gloomy reality, threatening stability in Europe, the video mocks the sanctions imposed to Russia describing the country as “a strong economy that can withstand thousands of sanctions.”
There is no “cancel culture” in Russia and it has delicious cuisine with a rich history and literature, “all the more reasons to move to Russia,” the video goes on.
On 1 August, the Russian embassy in Spain tweeted the 53 second clip with the titles of the video followed by white, blue and red hearts of the Russian flag on Monday. However, it’s still unclear if the video is an official Kremlin production.
Time to move to Russia 🤍💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/4CZL1Nt4Gi— Rusia en España (@EmbajadaRusaES) July 29, 2022
2. “Winter is coming”
Equally stirring polemic, the video ends with the line “Move to Russia. Don’t delay, winter is coming” — likely hinting, or more disturbing, mocking at the energy crisis currently affecting European countries and sowing disagreement between EU countries across the bloc.
“Does “Winter is coming” mean they might stop pumping gas to Europe (or otherwise spread more misery)?,” wondered American author Kurt Anderson on Twitter, describing the video as a “self-satire”.
Fascinating sinister self-satire. But the punchline: does “Winter is coming” mean they might stop pumping gas to Europe (or otherwise spread more misery), that in the U.S. liberals are about to make life intolerable for good white Christians, or did they just want to meme it up? https://t.co/KtmOsw8twJ— Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen) July 30, 2022
The online sentiment from the viewers remains divided with some saying that Russia released a tourism video that mocks the west and others saying that Russia is being trolled simply for having released such a controversial video.