Party Like There’s No Tomorrow – Russian Revelers Pay $1,000 to Celebrate Apocalypse in Soviet Era Bunker

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A Cold War bunker in Moscow designed to protect Soviet leaders in case of nuclear attacks will host the ultimate doomsday party. Revelers willing to part with $1,000 will be able to celebrate the coming of the Apocalypse in a safe environment that can withstand nuclear catastrophes and earthquakes.

Sure, $1,000 isn’t cheap, but with the world coming to an end, you might as well spend your life savings partying, right? That’s what the administrators of Bunker 42, in Moscow, are hoping, anyway. The shelter located 65 meters underground has been decorated especially for this special end-of-the-world party, after receiving a large number of requests from Russians looking for a chance to survive the impending doom. According to senior bunker guide Alexei Pavlovsky, the idea behind the event is pretty simple:  : A lot of many people would feel much calmer if they could spend this critical day surrounded by maximum comfort and safety. And who are we to say no?” Can’t argue with that, now can you?

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Russian Journalist Holds Promise to Literally Eat His Words after Prediction Proves Wrong

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Vyacheslav Ledovsky, a journalist from the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk, surprised a lot of people when he decided to hold true to the promise he made two years ago, to eat his own article should his prediction about work on local infrastructure prove wrong.

Ledovsky, a writer for The Builder newspaper, wrote an article in 2010 entitled “Promises are made to be broken”, in which he expressed serious doubts about the promises made by Krasnoyarsk region governor Lev Kuznetsov regarding a plan to start the construction of a fourth bridge over the Yenisei River, before 2015. The journalist was so convinced Kuznetzov wouldn’t keep his promise that he in turn assured his readers he would eat his article should work on the bridge begin before the announced deadline. Much to Vyacheslav’s surprise, construction on the fourth bridge began in September of 2012, forcing him to make a decision – either eat the newspaper article like he said he would or look for excuses and possibly have his reputation tarnished.

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Russian Company Sells Apocalypse Survival Kits

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December 21st is less than a month away, but don’t despair, there’s hope for you yet. A Siberian company has started selling end-of-the-world survival kits containing must-have items like a bottle of vodka and a notepad and a pencil.

Just in case you can’t make it to the French town or Bugarach, or buy an apocalypse-proof Atlantis pod, you can still take your shot at surviving the end of the world, by getting one of the survival kits offered by a very resourceful Russian company. It’s not likely to keep you alive for long, but at least you tried, right? For a mere 890 rubles ($28), you get a med kit (complete with heart medication), soap, some candles and matches, a can of fish, a pack of buckwheat, a bottle of vodka, a notepad and pencil, and a rope. Although I can think of a few uses for the rope, in case of a natural disaster, some might see it as a means to an end for those less optimistic of their survival chances. The kit also includes  a blank ID card, to be filled by the buyer, in case their original ID card gets demagnetized during the apocalypse, an instruction card with rules to various games to pass the time, in case you get stuck somewhere with friends and family, waiting for the end of the world to pass you by.

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Amateur Artist Turns Apartment Building into Urban Art Gallery

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Dmitry Bochkarev, an amateur artist, from Moscow, Russia, has turned an ugly communist-era apartment building into a colorful art gallery, by covering the walls, staircases and doors with various painted artworks.

While most graffiti artists sneak around to find places where they can exercise their artistic talents, amateur artist Dmitry Bochkarev asked people’s permission before he began painting on their walls and doors. It all began 17 years ago, after Dmitry experienced clinical death. He had a vivid dream that helped him discover his talent for painting, and from then on he started painting the inside of his apartment building, in Moscow’s  Biryulyovo district. Until then, the place was just a grey reminder of the Soviet era, and a victim of littering and ugly graffiti. But once colorful cartoon scenes and nature-inspired landscapes started appearing on the walls, it all stopped. Not even vandals have had the heart to ruin Bochkarev’s artworks, and neighbors say it’s the best thing that ever happened to their community. Residents started smiling to each other again, and they became so proud of their art-covered building that they even organize viewing tours for friends and family.

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Russian Coupon Site Is Offering a 50% Discount on Redemption Just in Time for the Mayan Apocalypse

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Believe it or not there are people out there who actually believe they can buy their way into Heaven. A Russian coupon site is offering a 50% discount on indulgences offered by the Catholic Church, and so far over 100 people bought the coupon. The funny thing is Russia is an Orthodox country…

What’s the price of redemption, fellow sinners? Well, according to this offer posted on Russian site Kupon Klub, it’s just 500 rubles ($16). Come on, you have to admit that’s a bargain! But, truth be told, it’s 50% off thanks to the kindness of an Italian Catholic church that has offered to pray for the forgiveness of your sins at half price. All someone has to do is buy this holy coupon and send its unique number to an email address mentioned on site. No matter how much you’ve sinned over the years, you can buy just one coupon for yourself, but you can get as many as you want to have your loved-ones’ sins forgiven as well. According to Lifenews.ru, the organizers of this bizarre campaign believe the number of sold coupons will be in the millions, but with 37 days to go to expiry, only 110 people have bough the discounted indulgence vouchers. That’s right, 110 people believe paying $15 for a coupon will open their way into Heaven.

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The Sad Story of a Man Who Refuses to Wear Pants and Only Puts on Skirts or Dresses

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44-year-old Vladimir Fomin, from Kineshma, a town in Russia’s Ivanovo Region, is a very peculiar man. He became somewhat of a celebrity in his country after he was expelled from the University of Mathematics for refusing to wear pants and walking around in women’s clothing.

Vladimir certainly isn’t the only man in the world who prefers skirts and dresses to pants, but his reasons are definitely unique. He is not gay nor a transvestite, nor does he want to attract media attention. He just wants to stand up for the rights of men to wear whatever kind of clothes they like. After all, women are allowed to wear pants, so why can’t men wear dresses or skirts, why is that regarded as weird? But his fight for the rights of the stronger sex have brought him nothing but trouble. Despite being one of the brightest students at the Ivanovo University of Mathematics and earning a scholarship, he was expelled because of his fashion choices, he was shunned by most of his friends and relatives and even verbally abused and beaten by locals in his home town for walking around in women’s clothes. But in spite of all these problems, Vladimir Fromin continues his fight for the right to dress any way he likes, and hopes to one day be able to walk around in his skirts without being discriminated against. And he has a wardrobe of over 30 women’s garments prepared…

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Broken-Hearted Dog Stands Guard over Dead Mate’s Body for over a Week

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Even in the animal kingdom, the loss of a loved-one isn’t easy, and this grieving dog, on the outskirts of Filippovka, a village in Russia’s Perm region, is proof of that.

His mate had been by a car while trying to cross the road, over seven days ago, but he’s still standing guard over her body, hoping she will wake up. Eye-witnesses say the dog dragged his mate from the road right after she was hit and hasn’t left her side since. He kept trying to move her with his paws and keep her warm with his own body, and the story of his loyalty spread among the locals in just a few days. Children and even adults who passed by and heard his heartbreaking whines and howls, and saw him standing guard over her body often broke into tears. “It’s very sad. He won’t let anyone near her and he keeps trying to warm her up with his own body”, a local said.

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Russian Pensioner Decorates Her House with 30,000 Plastic Bottle Caps

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Olga Kostina, a Russian pensioner from the Russian village of Kamarchaga, in the Siberian taiga, has decorated her simple wooden home with artistic patterns made from over 30,000 plastic bottle caps.

The Siberian taiga is one of the most beautiful natural ecosystems on Earth, but with a population density of just 3 people per square kilometer, it can be a very lonely place sometimes. But one woman living in the rural area at the edge of the taiga’s endless forests has found a very entertaining hobby to help pass the time when there’s simply no one around to talk to. Olga Kostina started collecting all kinds of plastic bottle caps from soda bottles and when she decided she had enough, she began using them to decorate the walls of her wooden house, in Kamarchaga village. The pixelated patterns that cover most of her home range from traditional macrame motifs to animals living in the neighboring forest. The Russian pensioner placed every single bottle cap by hand, using a hammer and nails to fix them in place, and used the macrame technique (hand woven and knit knots) to create the intricate mosaics. So far she has used over 30,000 plastic bottle caps and her home has become a local landmark of sorts. But she’s not planning on stopping until her house and adjacent structures are covered with colorful patterns.

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Guy Fakes His Own Death to Make Girlfriend See Life Would Be Empty without Him

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In what may very well be the worst wedding proposal in history, a Russian man hired a whole film crew to stage a deadly car crash and see if the woman he wanted to marry really loved him to death.

Most people already know, or at least think they know the person they want to marry truly loves them, before they pop the big question, but 30-year-old Alexey Bykov, from Omsk, Russia, wanted to make absolutely sure. Instead of taking the easy route, like making his girlfriend Irina take a lie detector test, he decided to fake his own gruesome death to see what her reaction would be. So the young Russian hired a movie director, stuntmen, make-up artists, and even a script writer to stage a car crash in which he lost his life. They made sure everything looked as realistic as possible, by using crashed cars, smoke, ambulances and carnage, so the poor girl didn’t for a minute think she was the victim of a very creepy prank.

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Spassky Cave Church – A Russian Wonder Carved in Stone

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On the banks of the Don River, in the picturesque Voronezh region of Russia lies one of the most fascinating tourist attractions this country has to offer  – the Spassky Cave Church. For hundreds of years, this place has been at the mercy of the elements, then it had to face communist persecution, yet it still stands as a bastion of Russian Christianity.

It’s believed the first caves were dug into the cretaceous mounts of Kostomarovo before the adoption of Christianity in Russia. Hermit monks would use these austere cell-like spaces to hide  from persecution, and it wasn’t until the 12th century that the first rock monastery was carved in the region. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact date the Spassky Cave Church appeared near the small Russian village of Kostomarovo, due to the lack of clear historical evidence, but it is now considered one of the most incredible monuments of ancient architecture in Russia. Dug into the cretaceous rocks known as “diva” in the Voronezh region, this unique holy place has a rugged exterior that hints at Byzantine influences, but its interior is much more polished, featuring straight walls, rounded arches and Orthodox decorations. It can accommodate 2,000 people and welcomes thousands of pilgrims from all over Russia, every year.

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Awesome Mosaic Is Made of Over 1 Million Coffee Beans

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Measuring nearly 30 square meters, The Awakening mosaic recently unveiled in Gorky Park, Moscow, set a new world record for the largest coffee bean mosaic.

It’s not very often that you get to see artworks as impressive as the one created by Russian artist Arkadi Kim. He and his team spent around two weeks working on the impressive mosaic, weighing the coffee beans, roasting them to achieve the desired color tones and placing them at just the right spot on the giant panel set up in Gorky Park. Believe it or not, this unique piece of art is made of 1 million coffee beans, weighing an impressive 180 kg (397 pounds). Entitled “The Awakening”, it shows the detailed visage of a girl and alluring coffee aroma making its way to her nose.

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Skywalking – Russia’s Thrilling but Dangerous Photo Craze

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Skywalking is the latest photography craze among Russian teens. The idea is to be able to find a really high building, climb to the very top and stand at its very edge, imagining you’re on the top of the world. Then, you take photographs from up there to post on the internet. The teens participating in this form of skywalking do so without any sort of safety equipment. Needless to say, they enjoy it very much.

19-year-old Marat Dupri is one such teenager who engages in skywalking. He risks his life quite casually, scaling sky-high buildings and capturing photographs of the world below. It was about 18 months ago that he purchased a camera and started to take pictures from his own roof. But soon, he was aiming for bigger and better ones. Accompanied by a friend, he scaled a 33-storey building to the very top going right to the very edge of the 120 m high structure. According to him, “It was such a thrill; we couldn’t wait to do it again.” And they didn’t. One of the shots shows the group of teenagers scaling one of Russia’s seven Soviet skyscrapers, using a ladder. In another one, his friend is perched at the side of a monument to Peter I, 215 m in the air. There are even photos from atop the Moscow tower, one of the highest buildings in Europe. Dupri and his friends say they’ve taken a lot of photos by sneaking past guards and getting access to structures illegally. He thinks the risks are definitely worth it to take such amazing pictures. “When I am on the roof I have a feeling that the whole world is at my feet. All my problems and troubles are left somewhere down. The height exilarates me. I am enjoying with my home town views. It gives me energy and fills with enthusiasm to make new and great shots,” he says.

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The Chalk Masterpieces of Rustam Valeev

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Rustam Valeev is a 20-year-old street artist from the city of Sterlitamak, Russia. Using simple pieces of white chalk, he is able to create incredibly detailed portraits right on the pavement of his home city.

Doodling with chalk was one of my favorite pastimes, as a kid. I remember I spent hours trying to draw simple things like people, butterflies, or animals, but my works never looked as good as what Rustam Valeev creates. In fact, the only other person I know who can create such realistic artworks is Paul Cadden, who renders photo-realistic masterpieces with graphite and chalk. But while Paul draws on paper, Rustam practices his skills on rough pavement. Although his street art hasn’t been featured by any important Western media outlets, his beautiful portraits have gone viral on some of the most popular sites in Russia.

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The God Squad – Russia’s Parachuting Priests

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Until now, only angels were able to drop in from the skies, but not anymore. Russian priests will be joining in pretty soon, complete with church and everything. No, they won’t be sprouting wings, they will be using parachutes to do their flying. Confused? I’m talking about an elite unit of priests that are currently being trained as a part of the Russian Army. Once the training is complete, they will be able to drop in along with their mobile churches, to hold services for Russian troops posted around the world. Their code name – The God Squad (of course).

More interesting than the parachuting priests themselves, are the mini hi-tech churches they are to carry with them. The self-assembled Russian orthodox churches will come with crucifixes, replica icons, bells and chalices. In short, everything that’s needed for the rituals performed as a part of their religion. An air conditioning unit, generator, refrigerator and mini-theatre will also accompany the priests. The chapel will be placed on the ground using an airborne platform, generally meant for carrying heavy military equipment. Once on the ground, the priests would get to work in assembling the entire church unit, before holding a service.

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The Secret Life of Ants, Shot by Andrey Pavlov

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We’ve seen insects used as art protagonists before. Mike Libby turns them into steampunk hybrids, and Ubyka creates armed insect cyborgs, but I haven’t seen anything like what Andrey Pavlov does with ants.  This is the touching story of a man who found comfort in studying and immortalizing hardworking ants performing their daily routines.

Andrey Pavlov wasn’t particularly interested in macro photography until seven years ago, when a spinal injury caused him to remain immobilized. That’s when he fell under the charm of these amazing earthlings called ants. He started reading books about them and their behavior, and became fascinated with the way the ant community cares for its weaker members – the children, the old, and the disabled. That’s when he realized they were creatures that commanded respect. This civilization that for the last 150 million years has mastered so many environmentally sustainable ways of surviving and evolving at the same time, really impressed him. So he made it a hobby to observe and take photos of these incredible insects.

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