Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

'Koshmario' Takes on Terrorists in Russian Anti-Extremism Video Competition

A brief video clip about an Islamic terrorist who plants a bomb on a city bus and accidentally blows up his wife and child won first prize in a Russian Interior Ministry contest for "anti-extremist" videos.

Just under three minutes in length, the video was created by employees of Dagestan's regional Ministry for Youth Affairs, Russia's Interior Ministry said in a statement. The republic of Dagestan in Russia's North Caucasus has been battling an upsurge of Islamic extremism in recent years.

An honorable mention as "one of the most creative" in the contest went to a humorous video by employees of the Interior Ministry branch in the Vladimir region that was based on Nintendo's Mario video game.

Titled "Extremism Won't Pass," the video features the familiar graphics of the Japanese video game and a character named "Koshmario" — a portmanteau of the Russian word "koshmar," or "horror," and "Mario" — and is set to a simple electronic tune from the early days of computer games.

"This is Koshmario, and he is an extremist," a line on the screen reads.

Jumping up to reach a computer, Koshmario uses a search engine called "Gugol" to look for things such as "how to become a skinhead if I am a Satanist," "buy a knife or a bazooka cheaply," and instructions on how to make a "nuclear bomb at home."

He also pounces on a barrel labeled "Law" to plunge it into the ground, but in the end is grabbed by police officers who rush him into a prison with the Interior Ministry's logo on its roof.

In all, contest organizers received more than 300 entries, the Interior Ministry said in a statement announcing the winners this week, adding that the "level of the works, from the point of view of both the content [or] creative ideas, and of the skill of execution was rather high."

The winning anti-terror video from Dagestan, titled "Through Your Own Eyes," starts with a romantic tune, accompanying the footage of a young man smiling at his wife, who is wearing a Muslim headscarf, and playing with their small child.

Music turns ominous as the man carries a bag into a bus and leaves it under a seat. As the bus pulls away, he spots his family looking out through the back window and runs after the bus, waving for the driver to stop, to the sound of a ticking clock that is interrupted by the blast of an explosion.

An off-screen narrator, imitating the speaking style of Russian television newscasts, reports: "An explosion occurred on one of the city buses. According to preliminary Interior Ministry data, a woman and a child were killed."

The video ends with a line of text that reads: "By taking others' lives, you take away the life of yourself."

Second place in the contest went to a video entitled "Changing Together," apparently aimed against the street revolts that the Kremlin fears, especially after public protests toppled a Moscow-backed administration in neighboring Ukraine last year.

Created by Interior Ministry employees in the region of Penza, the one-minute video features protesters attacking a line of police, until they are stopped by the small daughter of one of the demonstrators.

Saying: "Daddy, stop," the little girl in a polka-dot dress approaches her father and hands him three dandelions and an orange-and-black St. George ribbon — Russia's traditional symbol of military valor that has lately emerged as a sign of pro-Kremlin forces in Russia and Ukraine.

Third place went to a video from the Novgorod region that warns citizens to "Be vigilant" — also the video's title — against extremist threats.

Read more