Weird Russian video tries to woo expats

Six months after invading Ukraine, and after many thousands of expats fled the country, it appears that Russia is desperate to woo new foreign nationals to the country. Russia’s “beautiful women, cheap gas, and traditional values” are waiting for new expats, according to a new expat promo video shared by a Russian embassy. It urges people to “move to Russia” by quoting the country’s supposed plusses. Originally posted on YouTube by a pro-Russian group called Signal, the clip begins with a voiceover declaring: “This is Russia.” It continues: “Delicious cuisine, beautiful women, cheap gas, rich history…“World-famous literature, unique architecture, fertile soil, cheap electricity and water. Traditional values, Christianity, no cancel culture, hospitality, vodka.” It then, in its only reference to the war with Ukraine says: “An economy that can withstand thousands of sanctions. There’s an abundance of stock footage of young women, countryside, sculptures and fancy architecture. Confusingly, the clip ends by urging potential expats to act speedily. “Move to Russia. Don’t delay – winter is coming,” it says. According to Euronews, “It’s unclear whether this is a reference to a catchphrase from the popular TV show Game of Thrones.  Some commentators have interpreted the line as a reference to Russia’s control of much of Europe’s gas supply.”

Derision

The promo video has been widely mocked on social media. “State-controlled Telegram channels won’t stop bragging about this video,” tweeted Fatima Tlisova, a Russian-American journalist. “Not sure who is the creator. But wow, just watch it. If the Russians didn’t promote it, I’d think this was a satire. Why do they think this could attract foreigners to move to Russia?” A parody clip, which shows empty shelves, harsh Russian police officers and mouldy groceries, has received more than 1.1 million views.

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