Russia

“Northern Territories Day” commercial accused of promoting excessive nationalism

Since 1981, Japan has observed February 7 as “Northern Territories Day,” which commemorates the signing of an 1855 treaty granting the nation possession of a chain of islands off the coast of Hokkaido.

In a recent commercial titled “Drawing the Northern Territories,” a male voice begins: “Even though it’s Japanese territory, Japanese people can’t live here.” Pastel drawings of picturesque mountains and fishermen at work segue into a shot of a woman looking out across a stretch of sea to a rocky outcrop. “Look, it’s so close,” continues the narrator, as “16 km” appears across the bottom of the shot. The ad ends with the message: “The Northern Territories: inherently Japanese.”

Harmless patriotism, or government propaganda? Public reactions seem to be leaning toward the latter.

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Russia’s new military robot unveiled, President Putin reacts wistfully

A couple weeks ago, Russia Today (RT) reported the unveiling of a new military robot, and boy did it look…hmm. Luckily, Russian president Vladimir Putin was on hand to witness the event and his reaction in the following video really said it better than words ever could. Let’s watch!

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Russian beauty talks about troubles foreigners face when first moving to Japan 【Video】

Japan attracts foreigners of all kinds and people decide to come here for all sorts of different reasons. But, as with any culture different from one’s own, there can be some aspects of Japanese culture that are hard for foreigners to wrap their heads around or get used to, such as deciding if you should help a crying girl.

Ashiya, a beautiful Russian expat, recently shared some of her difficulties upon coming to Japan on her YouTube channel*. We have a feeling that these will strike a chord with many other expats and internationalists interested in Japan as well, Russian or not.

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Russian street turned into solid block of ice as water pipe bursts in northern town【Photos】

For many people, Moscow, covered in snow, is the first thing that springs to mind when they think of Russia. But while that’s certainly an iconic image, it’s but one view of the largest country by land mass in the world. Russia stretches far from both east to west and north to south, encompassing a variety of ecosystems and climates, and not all of them look like snowy Red Square.

Some places are actually a lot colder. Take, for instance, the town of Dudinka, where a busted water main turned a street into a solid block of ice, encasing cars parked along the road like flies trapped in an ice cube.

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NSFW: Russian “beer” commercial leaves foreign male viewers amused, confused 【Video】

This Russian carbonated beverage commercial is definitely doing its job of making people want to buy their product, but it is also indirectly introducing an under-acknowledged Russian drink to other countries. It all works, however, due to its overly explicit publicity tactic.

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Pretty Russian sports fan lets loose animal roar to support her team, terrify humanity 【Video】

I think most Japanese are completely fascinated by the nexus of beauty and horror. How else can you explain something like Kyari Pyamu Pyamu?

This week, that particular itch is being scratched by a YouTube video making the media rounds. In it, a pretty Russian spectator cheers her handball team by unleashing what can only be described as bestial hell yowling. Or the vocals for Gwar.

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Korean netizens go nuts for Russian cosplay cutie【Photos】

Cosplay: when it’s done wrong, it’s hilarious. But when it’s done right, it can be genuinely impressive. Of course, it helps to be super-cute if you want to gain attention from your cosplaying exploits, and it’s certainly paid off for RocksyChan, a Russian cosplayer who has Korean netizens drooling over her photos and scrambling to find out more about her. This, in turn, has led to net users in Japan taking an interest in the willowy beauty. Let’s take a look at some of her best work!

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No offense, Russia, but some of your food-art can be pretty terrible

Okay, so first off, I just want to start by saying I promise to avoid any “In Mother Russia, xxxx eat you!” jokes in this article, as tempting (and as easy) as it may be to do so.

But, that said: come on, Russia! You’re jockeying with China for worst food-art fails of all time here. While Japan has been busy cranking out new and innovative ways to create beautiful and sometimes seemingly impossible food-art masterpieces, other regions are definitely falling behind with, at best hilarious fails and, at worst, nightmare-inducing food abominations.

Let’s take a look at a few food-art fails from Russia:

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Absurd anti-prostitution proposal in Russia gets Japanese commenters’ tongues wagging

Prostitution is often called the oldest job in history. While that seems like a less-than-realistic claim, it doesn’t change the fact that the sale and purchase of sex has been around for millennia and will likely continue despite the various efforts to ban it. However, that hasn’t stopped some from trying. Take, for example, a Russian politician who recently suggested that people caught with prostitutes ought to face a fine and prison term–unless they agree to marry the sex worker!

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Russian serial daredevils conquer a Hong Kong skyscraper, could Tokyo Skytree be next?【Video】

You might remember the On The Roofs duo from last February when they ventured to trespass and scale the world’s second highest skyscraper, Shanghai Tower. They then uploaded videos for our entertainment – that is, if your idea of entertainment includes watching young guys in imminent danger of falling 632m (2,073-ft) to their death.

The Russian duo of Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov are back again with a new, slightly less nausea-inducing video, “What’s up Hong Kong?” The now renowned rooftop photographers headed a four-man party on their recent visit to Hong Kong, specifically, to the China Online Centre building in the Wan Chai area. But, this time they added a new challenge to their trespassing antics.

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Hunter finds his car trashed by wounded bear he shot the day before 【Video】

A hunter got more than he bargained for when he shot a bear in the forest in western Siberia – he found his car ransacked the next day in an apparent “revenge attack”.

The man shot and wounded a brown bear while out hunting with two friends. On returning to his car the next morning, he found that it had been completely destroyed by the angry bear – while his friends’ two cars nearby were left untouched.

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Seeing double? Twin-like couple wed in the most controversial marriage in Russia【Photos】

Are your eyes playing tricks on you? Maybe.

Take another look at that picture up there. They’re not twins, not even sisters. They are romantically involved, and they might be best friends, but they’re definitely not gay. The couple pictured above are husband and wife. Which one is the husband? Find out after the break!

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Is Attack on Titan a documentary? Mikasa spotted in Russia!

With its immense popularity, it’s no surprise that Attack on Titan has spawned some amazing cosplay photos. We’ve shown you a brilliant Serbian’s take on Erwin Smith, and today we’re heading back to Eastern Europe to show you someone the Internet apparently thinks looks exactly like Mikasa Ackerman.

Or maybe they’re actual photos of Mikasa running around in the real world? Everyone, be on guard just in case any titans show up!

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Futuristic tram prototype from Russia draws the envy of commuters worldwide

While dealing with the crowds and the creeps on public transportation may get on your nerves, it is usually the best way to save time and money. And last week, a Russian company unveiled a new futuristic streetcar that would make any weary commuter excited to go to work in the morning.

The next-generation streetcar looks like something out of a sci-fi movie with its trapezoidal shape and sleek black exterior. Click below to read more about the so-called “iPhone on rails” and which lucky cities are getting the tram of tomorrow!

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New “Living Barbie” is why we can’t have nice things

Human beings, as a species, have done some pretty amazing things. Spaceships and meatball subs, for instance, being two of man’s standout contributions to the universe. But, on the whole, we’re also kind of a species that shouldn’t be allowed to have nice things.

For every fantastic human invention, a handful of people will always show up to go way overboard and ruin it for everyone. College students pretty much ruined beer and parties for everybody, now we’ve got Tea Party advocates taking the generally pretty cool “car” concept and making them belch out thick, black smoke for seemingly no reason other than to be jerks to the environment and everyone in a 20-yard radius.

Oh, and you’ve got people like the newest “Living Barbie” who took cosmetic surgery and makeup and toys – all generally useful inventions – and used them to turn themselves into freakish nightmare fuel.

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Nine countries, tons of food, one mode of transportation – From Beijing to London by train

This spring, our Japanese-language correspondent Kuzo travelled to Thailand, where, among other things, he treated himself to the largest hamburger we’ve ever seen. All that beefy goodness must have given him plenty of energy, since he’s back on the road again, this time travelling all the way from Beijing to London by train.

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Fat cat takes over the art world with an amazing online mew-seum

While most cats would be content with plain and simple internet domination, there’s one chubby tabby who craves something more. Meet Zarathustra, the Russian cat who’s sinking his paws into a different pie, taking over the world of fine art and starring in his very own exhibition. From Da Vinci to Rembrandt, no artwork is safe from this feline’s sultry poses and exquisite expressions.

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Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it

It’s one of those tragic accidents that seems to replay itself far too often. Not a week goes by that I don’t open up the newspaper and hear yet again about how a crocodile has been injured by a woman not wearing her seatbelt.

Whelp, here we go again… On 20 May in Murmansk, Russia a two-meter-long crocodile named Fedya was treated for injures after a 120kg (265lbs) woman fell on it. This incident started off like they always do, with a minibus full of circus performers driving through the Arctic.

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Got milk but no fridge? No problem! Just throw in a frog

Yep, we’re being entirely serious here. New research has shown that an old Russian practice of putting frogs into a bucket of milk to keep it from spoiling may actually be right on the money. In fact, frogs may even be the key to finding a new source of antibiotics for humans.

Still skeptical? Keep reading to find out more!

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Russian car cam captures footage of woman hitting a dog, and the unbelievable consequences

As we’re all aware by now, Russia is apparently filled with the worst traffic imaginable. The seemingly Mario Kart meets Carmageddon levels of danger on the road have led many–if not all–drivers in the country to set up cameras in their cars for insurance purposes. And once something is captured on film, you just know it’ll end up online. Obviously, that means YouTube is overflowing with some of the most terrifying–and hilarious–traffic videos that Russia has to offer.

But a video that surfaced last week has proven to go far above and beyond anything we’ve seen so far. It’s already been viewed over eight million times since it appeared on April 23, and is one that you absolutely don’t want to miss.

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