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Vladimir Lenin, 1897, in Siberian exile

'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)

When I was a teenager in the 1970s I hitch hiked across the U.S. and Canada to remote national parks and hiked in many lonely desolate places for extended periods of time. I taught myself survival skills and got better and better at staying alive in difficult environments. I wanted no limits for myself and pushed boundaries to find out what I was capable of mentally and physically. I had no fear of death in my youth. Those experiences were a great initiation into manhood for me. I am too old now but would love to have participated in this competition when younger.
Steve, Clearwater, Florida, USA
10/03/2017 07:57
19
2
This guy is a pig and the Russian legal system is a joke if this crap is allowed to happen.
R gabriel, Tennessee usa
10/03/2017 07:13
10
37
Sounds like a combination of "Alone" (with interaction) and "Naked and Afraid XL" (with survival equip). Based on those shows everyone will be too hungry to fight or be romantic. If they were alone many wouldl drop out in the first couple of weeks.
The thought of camping with bears knocking on the door will scare many away. If they form groups like N&A XL they will stave off loneliness, but they will be missing their loved ones. And no doubt there will be some leaving due to injury. Good luck to all.
Ed, Maryland, USA
10/03/2017 06:50
19
2
This sounds pretty awesome and I'm looking forward to it. The channel it'll play on should've been cited. I'm also curious about the audio. I see a couple thousand cameras will be placed all around but aside from each contestant's own camera I wonder if there will be any other audio available.

This will be a unique, one-of-a-kind reality show. Great idea.
Al, SW, MO
10/03/2017 06:35
20
4

I suggest the the rich Russian, and behind this nonsense, be air dropped and left on this island, also.
BobUSAFret, Tacoma Wa, USA
10/03/2017 06:32
13
27
It sounds like the bears will be eating well.
Rod, Maine, USA
10/03/2017 06:28
30
3
This is a ridiculous exploitation of humans and animals. As soon as someone dies or is horrifically mauled only the depraved will continue watching and this will be a nice commentary on humanity.
DoggyTV, USA
10/03/2017 06:01
11
23
Sounds good as long as there is no democratic nonsense like on survivor. Let it be all about skill and wisdom.
Eric, Forks, USA
10/03/2017 05:17
28
5
This sounds like it could be great! Will Vegas or anyone have a betting line? I'm looking forward to it.
Dr Red Shift, Indianapolis, Indiana USA
10/03/2017 04:15
20
6
this sounds awsome, i doubt they will pull if off, unless these people have some serious survival skills,if anybody makes it past 2 weeks i would be surprised.
brian, weatherford oklahoma
10/03/2017 04:03
26
5
The bears will win this for someone so why not have a lottery ?
Bill, Page America
10/03/2017 03:36
15
4
Nice, Thunderdome island. 30 men enter, one man leave. Should be very entertaining as long as the participants don't wimp out early in the game.
Dan , Lake Arrowhead, USA
10/03/2017 02:53
14
4
'Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.'... but you'll be prosecuted by the police afterwards. So, basically, there might be alcohol and smoking, maybe some fighting, but probably no murder or rape... unless these people are idiots. Sensationalism at it's worse. Which is a shame considering the premises could actually intersting.
Regarding there chances, if that's correct, 9 square kilometers is ridiculously small, definitely not enough for hunting or even foraging for 30(!) people. Maybe fishing might be more viable depending on the river. Also the bears will likely move away, because 30 people on 9 square kilometers is really a lot of people.
Johannes, Germany
09/03/2017 21:56
44
15

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