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Fake Robot Kicks Off Football Match in Russia, Fooling Audience

A Russian man dressed as an eerily realistic robot kicked off a football match after being introduced by commentators as a real robot, the Match-TV television channel showed Saturday, just weeks after state media's last attempt to pass another robot-clad man off as a marvel of modern robotics.

The robot man, who commentators introduced as “Alyosha the robot,” brought the ball into play at a game between PFC CSKA Moscow and FC Orenburg.

The pundits did not clarify that the robot was not real at the time of kick-off, with one of the commentators calling the costumed man “artificial intelligence.”

Match-TV commentators have since insisted they knew that the robot was really a man in a costume, saying “It’s just funny, that’s all. He looked like a robot.”

For those who want to steal Alyosha’s look, the robot suit costs 250,000 rubles ($3,900) and is made by a company that also makes Iron Man, Robocop and Star Wars stormtrooper costumes.

In December 2018, a similarly robotic Russian man tried to fool audiences at a state television broadcast of a children’s robotics forum, where he was dubbed the “most modern robot” who can already “dance quite well.”

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.

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