Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Viral ‘Cyberpunk Farm’ Satirizes Russia’s High-Tech Future

Video game voice actor Sergei Chikhachev stars as jovial farmer Nikolai. Screenshot Youtube

The latest viral sensation taking the Russian internet by storm is...a farm. 

A fictional, futuristic “cyberpunk” farm, to be more specific.

“Russian Cyberpunk Farm,” which imagines life at a provincial Russian village in a future dominated by tech corporations, has racked up more than 3.3 million views since it was published on YouTube last week.

“It is a lie that we are a technically backward country,” farm owner Nikolai says in the video’s opening scene while introducing his robot farmhands designed by the fictional Izhevsk Dynamics Corp. 

In heavily accented English, Nikolai calls on his fellow “human workers” to join his “friendly team” with “big ambitions,” showing off the village’s high-tech advancements.

In the future, rural drivers no longer have to dodge potholes as the iconic Soviet off-road UAZ vans have been converted into flying cars — but “air holes” replicate the bumpy ride experience. While Russia’s postal service has upgraded its delivery vehicles to flying buses, Nikolai still waits two years to receive a package.

Nikolai is also shown tending to drones in the pigeon coop, showing off his produce like a “fractal cucumber” and “genetically modified chainiy grib [mushroom kombucha]” and being rejected by a robotic dairymaid who instead flirts with a tractor. 

In addition to poking fun at stereotypes of rural Russian life, the video also takes digs at the state corporations responsible for Russia’s countrywide innovation, primarily state space agency Roscosmos. 

QR code-shaped markings on the farm’s cows link to Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin’s Twitter profile, where he’s been known to trade barbs with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Rogozin seems to have taken the joke in stride, changing his banner photo to a screenshot of the QR-code cow.

					Rogozin already adopted the screenshot as his Twitter background photo. 					 					@Rogozin / Twitter
Rogozin already adopted the screenshot as his Twitter background photo. @Rogozin / Twitter

Rogozin’s image can also be seen on a poster on the side of a shed that reads “Let’s make the red planet green.” Other apparent references to the space agency include the outhouse cesspit being replaced by a literal black hole in space — as well as the video’s final surprise reveal.

The video, directed by Sergei Vasiliev and filmed at a real farm in the Ryazan region, was so entertaining that some viewers have even demanded a full-length film about the fictional village. 

As many people continue to self-isolate at home due to the coronavirus with no end in sight, even life on a dystopian farm seems utopian compared to our current reality.  

… 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.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more