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Russia's New Olympic Team Mascots Deftly Dodge Doping, Sanctions

A matryoshka bear that always bounces back and an ushanka cat with ear flaps will symbolize the Russian Olympic team, web designer Artemy Lebedev’s studio has revealed.

One of the many visualizations of the mascots in action shows the blue bear leaning — then righting itself — as the words “doping,” “sanctions” and “scandals” whiz by.

“The bear isn’t just a bear, but also a matryoshka and a roly-poly toy. It never kneels because it simply doesn’t have any knees,” the studio said on Thursday.

“The cat resembles all Russian cats at once: the manul, the Siberian lynx and the snow leopard. It's also an ushanka,” it adds.

“If this bear doesn’t save Russia, then who will?” Russia’s sports news outlet observed. “Did you notice how deftly he dodges enemy sanctions? As you can see, the only reliable way to dodge enemy tricks is to chop off both its legs.”

The pair, which Lebedev’s studio boasted was created in only 50 days, appeared on Russian sports television Thursday.

Online users are expected to vote on the names for the two creatures this week.

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