Support The Moscow Times!

Thanks to Printing Typo, Russian Charity's New Leaflets Advocate Beaver Genocide

Caption reads: “Exterminate beavers! Text the word ‘vremya’ and the amount of your donation to the SMS number 7715. Example: Vremya 300.” Mercy Capital charitable foundation

A Russian charity group is learning how costly a typo can be, after it paid 375,000 rubles ($6,000) for pamphlets that were meant to read “Do good!” but instead say “Exterminate beavers!” thanks to a printing error, according to the website.

Thanks to subtleties of the Russian language, a typographical error left the “Mercy Capital” charitable foundation with 1 million leaflets encouraging genocide against beavers.

According to Ivan Makarov, a representative for the foundation (and an animal rights activist, to boot), the printing house hired to produce the pamphlets is refusing to take responsibility for the printing error, citing regulations dating back to the Soviet era that small typos don’t qualify as contract violations. The printing house also claims “no one will notice” the typo, and told Mercy Capital to go ahead with distributing the leaflets.

“As an animal rights activist,” Makarov told reporters, “I fear that people might really start exterminating beavers, if the foundation starts handing out leaflets like these, the way they are now.”

Mercy Capital is reportedly planning to file a lawsuit against the printers it says are responsible for the unuseable pamphlets.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.