Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Angered by Parody Prize, Lukashenko Bars Sobchak From Belarus

Russian crooner Joesph Kobzon opening the 17th Silver Galoshes awards show that honors the most dubious achievements in show business.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko was less than pleased by his nomination for "Plagiarism of the Year" in last week's Silver Galosh parody award show in Moscow — although perhaps it was the loss to U.S. President Barack Obama that really ruffled his feathers.

Learning of the nomination, Lukashenko laid into various officials and ordered award show host Ksenia Sobchak and "all those rains" to be banned from Belarus, Belorussky Partizan reported Tuesday, which happened to be Sobchak's 32nd birthday. The radio station that organized the show is Serebryany Dozhd, or Silver Rain.

Sobchak, a prominent political and media personality, wasn't especially distraught at the news.

"Now to the question 'What is the most original birthday present you've received?' I answer without a second thought," Sobchak wrote on  Twitter .

Lukashenko was nominated for seemingly trying to outdo President Vladimir Putin's fishing skills. After Putin appeared on state television in July holding a 21-kilogram pike that he had reportedly caught during a fishing trip to Siberia, Lukashenko announced that he himself had snared a 57-kilogram catfish, reported.

During the show, musical group Underwood mocked Lukashenko's colossal catch with a reworded rendition of a classic ballad, reportedly prompting one enthusiastic Belarussian adviser to propose suing the show's organizers.

Even the gargantuan catfish was not ultimately enough to win Lukashenko the award, however, which went to Obama for ostensibly copying an idea for an election ad from Putin's campaign.

Lukashenko has been a favorite in parody award circles this year — in September, he and the Belarussian police were awarded the American Ig Noble Prize for making clapping in public a criminal act and then arresting a one-armed man for the offense.

The Silver Galosh is awarded yearly to people with "the most dubious achievements." Another high-profile recipient this year was French actor Gerard Depardieu, who beat out NSA leaker Edward Snowden in the category "Guest Worker of the Year, or Who Lives Best in Russia."

Read more

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.