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Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'

By The Siberian Times reporter
01 June 2017

Would-be participants accuse Yevgeny Pyatkovsky of cheating them over the ultimate reality game show combating bears and wolves on an Ob River island.

Novosibirsk entrepreneur Pyatkovsky, 39, claims the entire project was a stunt, causing a furious backlash from would-be gamers. Picture: The Siberian Times

The game show scheduled to start this summer caused scandal around the world when organisers said they would not intervene to ban murder of rape.

The TV show - which Pyatkovsky said would be shown on internet - was billed as an 'anything goes' test of endurance through the Siberian winter. 

Thousands of potential participants had signed up from Russia and around the world for the Game2:winter project. . 

But now Novosibirsk entrepreneur Pyatkovsky, 39, claims the entire project was a stunt, causing a furious backlash from would-be gamers who were ready to spend 9 months of their lives competing for glory on an island in the Ob River. 

'It was a fake to help my market research,' he announced in a posting which has infuriated people who had signed up to his project.

Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'
Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'. Picture: The Siberian Times


When he first announced the show last year a 'rule' openly stated: 'Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.'

Yevgeny said in March: 'I am pretty sure there will be fights, and more. We are not scared of negative reaction if that happens either....we will refuse any claim of participants even if they were to be killed or raped.'

He made clear: 'We will not intervene into relations between participants nor monitor their sexual life either, and our cameras will not be able to follow every move in every corner of the island. 

'They are free to form any couple or union, and there is no limits or rules regarding sex. 

'If a woman falls pregnant - and manages to carry the baby - that's fine with us.' 

Pyatkovsky boasted how he used 'a wave of Russophobia' to milk attention of the world's media.

Declaring himself a marketing genius, he said: 'A huge number of people believed in the project, it was discussed globally. It was mentioned by all leading media.

'If I'd paid for it, I would have spend millions, but I didn't.'  

Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'


Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'


Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'
Pyatkovsky (pictured below) had earlier this year told how the show would go-ahead on an island in the Ob River in Tomsk region. Pictures: The Siberian Times


The rape and murder claims caused shock in Russia and abroad, but many people also applied on his website to take part in the games in the 'raw Siberian taiga' in which they would be armed with knives but not guns. 

Participants were promised to receive training in 'how to behave when you meet a wild bear' before they were released onto an island bristling with 2,000 cameras. 

Furious Yana Ivanova declared:  'I suggest the project continues with just one participant - Yevgeny. Let's drop him somewhere in the taiga, stick a GoPro [camera] on his head, and put a tracker in his *** to find his body later. It will be a great selling video.'

Ivan Kostayev, from Novokuznetsk, complained: 'Pyatkovsky admitted that he simply cheated us.'

Mats Goldberg, from Sweden, said: 'I feel quite foolish now. I do not like to be made to look a fool in such an arrogant way by Russian millionaire Yevgeney Pyatkovsky.'

Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'


Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'


Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'


Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'


Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'
Timur Akchurin, 28, from Magadan, said: 'You've just strengthened the image of Russia as an unpleasant and unattractive country'. Pictures: The Siberian Times


Several called on Pyatnovsky to show what his 'research' was meant to prove, and explain what it shows. 

Pavel Glotov, 56, who had big support in online voting for participants, claimed the organiser was a 'swindler', saying he is 'upset', and that a 'worthy and beautiful' idea was 'debased'.

Fyodor Pavlov complained: 'Yevgeny you fooled us. How can I explain to my supporters that am as naive as a baby.'

Timur Akchurin, 28, from Magadan, said: You've just strengthened the image of Russia as an unpleasant and unattractive country. The country is ashamed. 

'You didn't even apologise and brag about making money out of it. You are just a swindler.' 

Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'
Elizaveta Sevyrina, one of participants. Picture: The Siberian Times


Pyatkovsky had earlier this year told how the show would go-ahead on an island in the Ob River in Tomsk region.

'It gets to minus 50C in winter, and it is infested with brown bears," he said.

'This area of Siberia always has lots of bears, but recently numbers doubled because more animals migrated from the north of Krasnoyarsk region, pushed away by wildfires.'

Conditions would be more testing than on any TV reality game show, he said. 

Filiming was due when 'brown bears will be at the end of their mating season. Days after they calm down a bit, the biting gnats will arrive'.

Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'


Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'


Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'


Anger as controversial Siberian 'Hunger Games' creator claims his idea was a 'fake'
Pyatkovsky had earlier this year told how the show would go-ahead on an island in the Ob River in Tomsk region. Pictures: The Siberian Times


Among those who had applied in good faith after being inspired by the fake vision, and spoke about their dreams, were:

Natalya Korneva, 26, an actress from St Petersburg:  'I travel whenever I have some spare time, during the last 5 years I covered more than 150,000 km, most of them alone. I've been to the mighty Lena River in Siberia, to Magadan, to the Altai Mountains and the Far East of Russia. I've been dreaming about moving to Siberia for a long while, but first I want to feel how hospitable the taiga will be towards me. This is why I am taking part.'

Jonghyun Lee, 22, from South Korea: 'I have served in the South Korean Air Force, and currently I am a student. Right now I am in the middle of America, biking from Los-Angeles to the East Coast. Regardless of the prize, I love problems. I want to go through difficulties because it'll make me better. The primitive instinct of fighting nature without any help is what excites me.'

Dmitry Russkikh, 31, a security service officer from Saratov: 'Extreme, sport and travelling while getting new impressions is what drives me. I grew up on the shores of great Russian Volga River, fishing with my father and grandfather. I spent a lot of time diving, mountain climbing, snowboarding and mountain biking.'

Yelena Grischenko, 21, a student from Kazakhstan: 'I love playing computer games, specially Perfect World and Wow. I read a lot, love Russian classics and fantasy.'

Irina Agisheva, 30, a swimming coach from Nizhny Novgorod: 'I want to do something so mad and unforgettable so that people later say 'do you remember that girl...'. We only live once and we must  make the best of our lives. I'm ready.'

Klara Yuchyugyaeva, 33, a real estate agent from Yakutsk (Siberia): 'I love sport since childhood, I was born in Yakutia and I am not afraid of difficulties. For me the taiga is something mysterious and amazing, so please help me discover it.'

Oksana Shiganova, a 28 year old driver from Murmansk in the Russian Arctic: 'I am a professional blonde, a girl who loves dresses, manicure and shopping. I love myself and will definitely not make it through the show without help.  But this is what will make it so interesting to follow me.' 

Oleg Baturin, a 35 year old economist, said: 'I live in Chelyabinsk, the capital city of the South Urals. Our city has always been known for its strong men - and to prove it I challenge myself and all other participants. I want to spend long time in the wild, try new places and go through new hardships.'

Matts David Goldberg, 36, a student from Sweden: 'I want to take part to inspire people and to help them fight for their dreams. I also want to go through exactly what my grandfather endured when he worked all around the Siberian taiga after being captured during World War II. I am an adventurer, a teacher and a journalist.'

Mikhail Utrobun, 29, a sportsman from Khabarovsk: 'This is my chance, finally I'll become a millionaire.'

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