As far as years go — and there have been quite a few of them — 2018 has been on the wild end of the spectrum.
Forget Donald Trump, Brexit or fascism coming back into vogue. The epicenter of the craziness was Russia. From cops putting out fires with snowballs, to officials’ wives twerking in the midst of highways and Orthodox priests going Gucci, Russia was the place to be. And if you don’t trust us, take a gander below at some of the wildest stories of the year.
Siberian cops don’t mess around. After finding themselves in front of a raging fire while on patrol, First Lieutenant Yevgeny Lunin and Lieutenant Pavel Istomin kept their cool and attacked the flames with the only thing available: snowballs. “The guardians of law and order continued to hurl snow at the burning fence and garage gates as firefighters arrived,” the local police branch said, promising to award the officers for their valor.
Talk about a head turner. A Moscow region deputy’s wife decided the best way to launch her fledgling music career was to shoot a twerking video in the middle of one of Russia’s busiest highways. After blocking off the middle lane of the packed road with an SUV and causing mass traffic delays, the young pop star felt the wrath of the capital’s notoriously impatient drivers — and of Russian social media. The singer ended up with a traffic ticket, a “scolding” from her politician husband and a massively popular viral video.
Who hasn’t dreamt of strolling across a runway and finding gold, diamonds and platinum? We sure have. And if we had been based a wee bit closer to Yakutia in Siberia, we would have scurried over to collect the windfall (pun intended, fam) after a cargo plane’s door broke off after takeoff and millions worth of the valuables fell out.
The extended New Year’s holidays are some of the most alcohol-fueled times of the year in Russia. So who could blame this carjacker for commandeering an armored vehicle, ramming it into a shopfront and making off with a stolen bottle of wine? If you happen to spot a tank roaming the streets this holiday season, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re at war: it could be a young conscript going on a beer run.
Miss Philippines may have won the Miss Universe contest this year, but it’s Princess Aisha from Dagestan who caught our eye. This buxom bighorn was picked the winner of a sheep-only beauty pageant during a Muslim festival of sacrifice. Sadly, Princess Aisha hasn’t been heard from since claiming the “Most Beautiful Sheep” title.
Who knew that nuclear annihilation could come with a heartwarming name? Thousands of Russians took part in an online vote to christen the new range of “super weapons” that Putin touted as invincible in a pre-election speech. Suggestions included the patriotic “Kremlin’s Hand,” the ironic “Boomerang” and the too-on-the-nose “Goodbye America.” We personally think they should have kept it light and gone with “Nukey McNukeface.”
Ever wonder why Putin won a record number of votes in the 2018 election? One could argue it’s this ad that paints a dystopian future under a different leader, fraught with a dabbing ethnically diverse army and communist children asking for million-ruble handouts. Most galling, the online ad claims, is a new “law” that forces married men into partnerships with gay homestays dumped by their boyfriends.
An Orthodox priest raised the Holy Father’s ire when he decided to become an Instagram influencer. After being found out by church officials, the priest took down his Instagram, but not before users screenshotted his posts of himself wearing a Louis Vuitton signature handbag and Gucci shoes. The priest later said he was “fighting for freedom.” Fight on, you divine fashionista.