New East Digital Archive

The mannequin challenge awards: take a look at Russia’s best and worst

The mannequin challenge awards: take a look at Russia's best and worst

30 November 2016

The most stereotypically Russian one

Hammers, ear hats, snow and Russians in speedos and bikinis standing in the snow? Check, check, check. Murmansk ice divers showed us how it’s done.

The most heroic one

This mannequin challenge was made by firemen and other emergency service workers – let’s just hope it was filmed while another crew was on call.

The most politically calculated one

United Russia got in on the fun – the ruling party’s MPs freeze in the lobby of a building, while the graphics in the video highlight what the documents in their hands are, not-so-subtly hinting at all the important work they tirelessly do.

The most underwhelming one

Vladivostok police are responsible for this, and let’s be frank, they obviously didn’t try very hard. It’s shaky, small, and some people are moving a bit. Props for giving it a go though.

The one most likely to catch your eye

Vladivostok cheerleaders don’t joke around – their mannequin challenge video is them, in their minimal work uniforms, getting ready to perform in their locker rooms. Mildly NSFW.

The crazily produced one

The VK team shot this video that will not only give you office envy (a horse statue and a medieval-torture themed meeting room, just saying) but also scream “How did they do it?!” at the laptop screen – there are things frozen in the air. Unless you are a video specialist, in which case you are probably not that easy to impress.

The one with the most props

Zenit FC has obviously put a lot of thinking into this – there’s the frozen jumping rope, a ping-pong ball attached to a racket, and someone holding a big threatening-looking dumbbell up in the air for a suspiciously long time.

The most dramatic one

Ulyanovsk theatre froze during rehearsal for Pushkin’s Captain’s Daughter. You can see these people are professional actors – no movement, dramatic lights, good camerawork. A+.

The protest one

This mannequin challenge, featuring people standing in line to buy metro tickets and scrambling for change, is dedicated to the radical rise in metro fares that will take place after in the new year in St Petersburg. The raises have been heavily protested outside of viral videos too.

The actually hilarious one

This video was filmed in a Novosibirsk post office, one of the symbols of slow Russian bureaucracy… Only this isn’t staged at all – this is just the pace that the post offices in Russia operate at. The author says he saw that the queue wasn’t moving and decided to improvise. Is this life imitating art (or viral videos), or the other way around?