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Russia's New Year television celebrations have been likened to something out of the Hunger Games film series after videos of the bizarre event went viral.
While the rest of the world was celebrating new year with fireworks – or by being bombed by Russia as was the case in Ukraine – Russian state TV aired a very strange New Year's event.
Rather than it being filled with top musicians or live outdoor events, it featured pre-recorded tables of people clapping alongside hosts giving odd messages.
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And the countdown took place without much fanfare, too.
Just after the country entered into the new year one of the hosts went into a rant disguised as a New Year's message.
He said: “My New Year's toast will be a bit unusual.
“During the past year, the West tried to destroy Russia.
“They didn't realise that in the composition of the world, Russia is the load-bearing structure.
“Yes, gentlemen, like it or not, Russia is enlarging.”
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The message was littered with random clips of tables clapping before cutting to a bloke in white suit singing while being surrounded by women in blue dresses dancing on a very large, rotating record player.
This featured elderly people dancing hand-in-hand in a line – to what we can only assume is Russia's version of Auld Lang Syne.
The record player under them randomly starts skipping and the song just ends…without warning, while the bloke and the woman who joined him take a bow.
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And the entire thing was ridiculed on social media.
One person wrote that it had “proper Hunger Games vibes”.
A second said: “So they pre-recorded each table clapping and emoting in various ways and then edited them in as needed to whatever the script called for.
“About as obvious as 'surprise' reactions by judges on TV talent shows.”
And a third posted: “Its also what you might imagine "Tsarist TV" would look like at Christmas 1914, 1915 or 1916 if it had existed then!”
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There was, sadly, no message from Russian President Vladimir Putin during the New Year's festivities, with no outside fireworks taking place, either – although as the event was seemingly pre-recorded, fireworks could have taken place but were not shown on television at the time.
Back in the real world, Ukraine was attacked several times by Russian missiles during between New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
The official causality total has not yet been released, but it was confirmed on various Ukrainian Telegram channels that deaths had occurred both in the armed forces and of civilians.
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