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'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
09 March 2017

Real-life adventurers to a 'professional blonde' queue to participate in the ultimate brutal television reality contest, where 'rape and murder' are not banned.

The ultimate brutal television reality contest. Picture: Yevgeny Pyatkovsky

The show to be broadcast worldwide on the web starting in July will see 30 participants, 15 of them women, ditched on a large island in the Ob River, the seventh longest in the world, chasing a 100 million rouble ($1.7 million) prize on a nine month survival mission in winter temperatures as low as minus 50C.

Called Game2:Winter, the reality TV programme has quietly dropped a shocking rule that stated: 'Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.'

When asked if he will intervene if there is 'physical violence, rape, a murder', organiser Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, 35, a Novosibirsk millionaire, told The Siberian Times: 'No we won't. I am pretty sure there will be fights, and more. We are not scared of negative reaction if that happens either.'

He insisted it would be made clear to the international participants ahead of the show 'that punishment will follow according to the Russian Criminal Code'. In other words, any action would be for the police or other law enforcement agencies only, not the show's organisers. 

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
Called Game2:Winter, the reality TV programme has quietly dropped a shocking rule that stated: 'Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.' Picture: Yevgeny Pyatkovsky

Pyatkovsky has stated previously: 'We will refuse any claim of participants even if they were to be killed or raped. We will have nothing to do with this. This will be spelled out in a document to be signed by the participant before the start of the show.'

There would be no rules restricting sex between the participants, he said. 

'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. 

'We will show the baby after the project is over.' 

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
It gets to minus 50C in winter in Tomsk region of Siberia. Picture: Danil Barashkov

The survival race on the island will be filmed and broadcast 24 hours a day on an internet TV channel, Pyatkovsky said. The island of nine square kilometres is in Tomsk region, he announced.

'It gets to minus 50C in winter, and it is infested with brown bears. This area of Siberia has always lots of bears, but recently numbers doubled because more animals migrated from the north of Krasnoyarsk region, pushed away by wildfires.'

He made clear that the conditions would be more testing than on any TV reality game show. At the start of the show, 'brown bears will be at the end of their mating season. Days after they calm down a bit, the biting gnats will arrive'. 

They will be allowed knives but no other weapons and he admitted that if a bear attacks a participant, there may be nothing the organisers can do. 

'There will be a ground team on duty, and one or two helicopters for emergency situations,' he said. 'Having said that, bears can run as fast as 60 kph, and our two thousand cameras on the island would not be able to cover every centimetre  of the forests 

'This is the raw Siberian taiga: anything can happen, and we might not be on time to solve an emergency. 

'The participants will have knives only, no guns will be allowed. They won't be allowed to bring anything with them.'

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
The show is a brainchild of Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, pictured 

Survival will depend on growing food and storing it for winter, catching fish from a plenteous supply in the Ob, or killing game. 

'We will give one set of clothes to every participant and it must last till the end of the show. Right after the arrival our survivors will be given the task of building a house, shelter, or anything they decide to live in during autumn and winter.'

At the start, they will chose from a storage 100 kg worth of winter clothes, tools like a hand saw and axe, fishing rods, ropes, soaps, salt and sugar. 

'The set of clothes, food and instruments will not be replaced,' Pyatkovsky said.'There will presenters whose role is to give initial tips about surviving in Siberia - for example, how to catch an otter, or how to behave when you meet a wild bear, and also to organise various competitions and quests.

'One might be being woken early in the morning from a loud alarm. 

'A worried presenter's voice will announce that a group of criminals broke out of a nearby jail and is already on the island. 

'The task will be to catch the criminals, and whoever does so gets a prize from a sponsor.'

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
The island of nine square kilometres is in Tomsk region. Picture: Tourist Club Tomsk 

Pyatkovsky, a father-of-two,  said: 'There is nothing like this show in the whole world. No-one has done it as a real thing where people will actually have to use every skill they ever gained, social, physical, psychological, to survive.'

'You will be able to watch it from every corner of the world at any moment of the day and night, as you move, work, drink with your girlfriend in the bar, or relax with a cup of tea at the end of the day.'

Asked for his goal in running the extreme show, he said bluntly: 'To earn money, this is my main task. I will however reach several other goals at the meantime. I will show what Siberians are worth as survivors, how strong and resilient, but also how warm, fair and humorous we are. 

'I am hoping we will become  heroes in the eyes of an international audience who I hope will have better grip of how we managed to conquer this part of Russia, and make it home. 

'I will show stunningly beautiful nature of Siberia and will increase interest from tourists from all over the world.'

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
Tomsk region, north of Western Siberia. Picture: Andrey Bosh

Pyatkovsky said: I've been thinking about this show since the time I first saw Lost. I thought that surely there must be a way to do a real survival show, where people face all the real problems of daily life in the Siberian taiga. 

'I envisaged it being organised in Siberia, but I had no idea as to how to transmit it so that the whole world could see it. Now I know, and the time has finally come. 

'Several years ago I realised that I could set up cameras and arrange seamless broadcast, and this is when I started to work on the details of the show. 

'It took me long two and a half years of preparations, and now I am ready.'

Hundreds of would-be participants have applied, and the selection will be made by online viewers.

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia 

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
Real-life adventurers to a 'professional blonde' queue to participate. Pictures: Yevgeny Pyatkovsky

Among the hopefuls are:

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.'

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
Jonghyun Lee, 22, from South Korea: 'I have served in the South Korean Air Force, and currently I am a student.' 

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.'

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
Matts David Goldberg, 36, a student from Sweden: 'I want to take part to inspire people and to help them fight for their dreams'

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.'

Those taking part will be given survival training from Russia's elite former GRU Spetznaz operatives, but after that they will be on their own coping with temperatures ranging from 35C in high summer to minus 50C or lower in the depths of the Siberian winter. 

'Probably all of you have watched the Lost TV series, but surviving in a tropical climate is quite different from trying to stay alive in the Siberian taiga - boreal forest - at minus 40 degrees Celsius,' said Pyatkovsky.

'There will be no film crew: the whole area will be dotted with cameras and each participant will be carrying a portable camera with 7-hour life rechargeable battery.'

Contestants must be at least 18 and 'mentally sane', he said. 

'Real Hunger Games' gears up for TV launch from bear-infested island in Siberia
The ultimate brutal television reality contest. Picture: Yevgeny Pyatkovsky

Those taking part will be urged to forage and store food before winter in order to survive the cold months. 

In winter, contestants will need to catch fish through ice holes to feed themselves. 

Their target: to survive until 1 April - but it will be no joke. 

All participants will have to sign release of liability for injury and death waivers, he said. 

Each week participants may request some item from viewers who will be able to donate money for it via the project's website.

Purchased items will then be delivered to participants. 

Comments (73)

I don't understand about the Russian criminal code. It says participants will be held to that. Does that mean if they commit a crime during the show they get in trouble after the show?
L Harris, USA
11/03/2017 05:48
This is to Mr. Pyatkovsky I don't know if gambling is legal in Russia but you should let people that watch place bets on who will go first and who will WIN...
Bentley, USA
11/03/2017 05:32
I was in that part of Siberia one summer, about 400 miles down the river (that is North-West). The show melted by mid June in the shadowy places, but the ground was like ice until late July. The worst enemies in that place in summer were not the bears (too many people around digging for oil with heavy and loud equipment), but the mosquitoes. They are twice larger than European, and they eat you alive, if you don't have protection. There are small little flies that drink you blood too, but you don't even feel them,unlike mosquitoes. You'll be unable to sleep, so your ability to detect and resist larger enemies will be weak. You'll be praying for cold! Good luck surviving through October...
Michael, USA
11/03/2017 05:28
I expect no survivors and it wont be pretty.
Mike Reyna, Dallas Tx USA
11/03/2017 04:16
I've lived in the Arctic. Wrong clothing equals early demise.
Kevin, Texas
11/03/2017 03:36
Most people (not everyone) are basically evil by nature, where do people get they guidance? and what stops them from acting out they evil desires?. In ancient times people acted like animals and were guided by forces of the bestial instincts. Then as society developed humans developed laws to follow, those laws where based on those same natural instinct, so the only valid law is the law of nature.
Lazar, Moscow
11/03/2017 03:22
I would perish in such weather even coming from the cold state of Maine. I wish you courage and stamina to survive this brutal game. Good luck to all of you.
Brenda Calvet, MAINE USA
11/03/2017 03:04
These people are going to die if this is real. This is inhumane. These reality shows have crossed a deadly line. People can't survive in this type of type of weather and bears without the proper equipment and shelter. This is survivor on steroids.
Mike, Long Beach, USA
11/03/2017 01:40
Can I send the "professional blonde" a .44 Smith & Wesson magnum and a box of ammo?
For defense against the 'Guys'?
Glenn Thomas, Albany, Georgia, United States
11/03/2017 01:31
I can see someone becoming so hungry and distraught after 30- 40 days, killing another contestant for their food. Now, that will be reality tv! I don't see anyone not brought up in that type of environment to last through the winter.
professional blonde? Won't last through the warm months! When does the snow melt there after the winter??
Glenn Thomas, Albany, Georgia, USA
11/03/2017 01:21
I can't believe that people are willing to make money for this idiot, whilst ignoring values and morals.So it's okay to rape or murder someone! I can understand the desire to experience what is a beautiful part of Russia but no way would I allow myself to be a puppet for this man or a television company.
What is the world turning in to?
Linda , Scotland
11/03/2017 00:17
Interesting concept, the island sounds too small to support this large of a group through the winter. Will definitely try to watch.
Quickwahay, Minneapolis, USA
10/03/2017 23:50
For any participants that are not aware those brown bears in Siberia are known for eating out of cemeteries and killing armed guards. With that said your chances of stopping one with a knife unless you are to mount it to a long Pole will be almost zero. These animals have been known to take 4 - 6 Bullets to Anchor them. Please have your religious beliefs in order if you are thinking of participating in this. They feed mostly in the middle of the night and early evening. Welcome to Siberia!
Lee Bolinger, Springfield Illinois
10/03/2017 23:47
I hope you can select the subtitles. This looks like a must watch!
Adam B, Saint Louis, U.S.A.
10/03/2017 22:45
Next will be The Running Man. Good film but the book blows it away. As usual.
Frankie, UK
10/03/2017 21:53

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