Support The Moscow Times!

Kremlin Asks Officials to 'Get Creative' for Women's Day


The Kremlin is urging Russia’s regional governors to harness their creativity in their bid to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8.

Instead of a few solemn words in the local press, politicians have been unofficially asked by the presidential administration to take a more playful approach to the occasion, the Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday.  

Valery Shantsev, the governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region, was one of those who heard the call, creating his own take on 2016’s biggest social media craze, the mannequin challenge, for the special day.

"A woman is a riddle and a mystery," he said, “[but men] "are ready to solve [that puzzle] every day." He also urged women to "shine, enchant and inspire."

Kirov Governor Igor Vasiliev also tried to showcase his artistic skills, reciting a poem of his composition during an event at the Kirov Theater on March 6.

The short poem – which saw Russian phrase до небес (to the heavens) creatively rhymed with English words “the best” – also celebrated the region’s woodland heritage.

“In Russia, we have forests which stretch to the heavens/ Our oaks and maples reach higher than all others/ In Russia, everything Russian is “the best”/ In Russia, all which is ours is simply awesome,” the poem declared.

A more high-tech celebration will be taking place  in Russia's southern Krasnodar, where lucky ladies will be able to create computer generated images of themselves with local governor Veniamin Kondratiev - and get his virtual autograph.

March 8, or International Women's Day, has been celebrated in Russia since 1913.

While many countries use the occasion to champion women's rights, the Russian holiday is a closer equivalent to Mother's Day or Valentine's Day. The festivities usually see men present gifts of candy and flowers to their wives, girlfriends, or mothers.

Only four of Russia's 85 regional governors are women. They are the Murmansk region's Maria Kovtun, the Vladimir region's Svetlana Orlova, Natalya Komarova from the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region, and Natalia Zhdanova from Zabaykalsky Krai.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more