In the early hours of Thursday 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladmir Putin announced a “special military operation” into Ukraine. At the time, he claimed that the Russian military planned to “demilitarise and denazify” the country of about 40 million to (apparently) safeguard people subjected to bullying and genocide. What a load of crap.
Enter the ‘Vladimir Put-in’, a limited edition talking butt plug—yes, you read that right—inspired by none other than the “shit-talking” Russian President himself. Designed specifically for his rectum and his rectum only, the Vladimir Put-in consists of a non-fungible token (NFT) butt plug, currently being auctioned on the community-owned marketplace Rarible, along with a physical model made of silicone.
Launched on 4 March, the Vladimir Put-in is open for bids on Rarible until Monday 14 March 2022. The winner of the auction will not only receive the bespoke NFT but also get their hands on the 10-centimetre-long (since the man behind its inspiration is easily butthurt) 3D printed talking anal plug—delivered in five to eight weeks from the final payment. With the aim of generating funds to help people on the ground in Ukraine, the totality of the proceeds is set to be donated to WithUkraine, a humanitarian support platform set up by the Embassy of Ukraine to the UK.
But the plan of action doesn’t end there. Alongside the release of the Vladimir Put-in, the creative trio behind the initiative, Chat Shit Get Banged, is planning to send a copy of the physical toy first class to the Russian Embassy. Say what?
“The whole situation [in Ukraine] is both devastating and heartbreaking for civilians in both countries,” the team, who chose to remain anonymous due to the risk of the initiative, told SCREENSHOT. “The loss of freedom, control and life is something no nation should ever have to experience.” Tired of powerful people “chatting so much utter shit via the media,” Chat Shit Get Banged ultimately aims to flip the narrative and give power back to the people. “We started this project not to make light of the situation but instead spread a message of defiance against oppression, as well as trying to raise financial aid to those who need it,” the team added.
While vocal butt plugs of divisive political and celebrity figureheads are its ‘raison d’être’, Chat Shit Get Banged has tapped NFTs as a medium of peaceful protest—given how the digital assets offer an exciting and interesting use of technology that allows anyone to be an artist. “At the same time, anyone can also bid for it and have the opportunity to own something very unique and special,” the trio said. “That community aspect felt right for this project, especially as we are creating a collectable item.”
When it comes to art—let alone butt plugs—based on political figures and current events, projects usually walk a tightrope between condoning the subject matter and supporting the cause with a mission. In the Vladimir Put-in’s case, however, the team admitted to witnessing positive responses from both countries, some of which the pro-bono project actively shares on Instagram.
“Each collection drop will have a charity aspect in some way, our main MO is to send financial help to those who are in need,” Chat Shit Get Banged continued, adding how a second generation of the Vladimir Put-in is set to drop after the current auction—but only as an NFT featuring different expressions and materials.
As Chat Shit Get Banged hopes to mint more digital assets of detested public figures in the future, one question remains: can we expect a butt plug based on the ‘Cheeto Jesus’ himself? “We are praying that a certain someone’s name that rhymes with ‘hump’ is stuck in the past,” the team mentioned. “But unfortunately, we can never say never! You can be sure to see more world leaders as well as others in the media that you’ve rolled your eyes at one too many times.”
And for those of you who are curious to know what the talking Vladimir Put-in plug would play out loud once inserted, here’s what the team had to say: “We’re going to keep this as a surprise for now but it will 100 per cent be his [Vladimir Putin’s] voice and we’ll be keeping it all light-hearted.”
Well, I guess you’ll have to find out what ‘Vladdy Daddy’ says when you stick it to the Russian leader by placing your bids here. In the case of the physical copy making its way to the Russian Embassy as we speak, know that—at the end of the day—nothing screams “fuck you” like a talking sex toy in your mailbox.
This morning, on Monday 7 March 2022, Russia announced that it will open “new humanitarian corridors” to Ukrainian civilians trapped under its bombardments without food or water, who have been unable to evacuate their wounded following two days of failed ceasefires in the besieged city of Mariupol. But, plot twist, Russia’s defence ministry further revealed that the corridor from Kyiv would lead to Belarus while civilians from Kharkiv would be permitted to go only to Russia. Russia would also mount an airlift to take Ukrainians from Kyiv to Russia, the ministry added.
The move has already been heavily criticised, with a spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calling the strategy “completely immoral” and stating that Russia is trying to “use people’s suffering to create a television picture,” as initially reported by Reuters.
Meanwhile in Russia on Friday 4 March, citizens were presented with a ban against the promotion of any kind of information that has not been relayed by the government first and foremost. Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the former’s officials have said that false information has been spread by enemies such as the US and its Western European allies in an attempt to sow discord among its citizens.
What’s really happening is that, until now, global news media had been reporting honestly on the situation, something that the Kremlin did not appreciate since it never planned to inform its people on exactly where soldiers were sent to die and what for. Instead, Russia has been calling real coverage of the events “fake news,” and is now threatening anyone willing to speak out about such happenings of being sent to prison for up to 15 years. Talk about some 1984-esque censorship and brainwashing, huh?
Russian lawmakers also imposed fines on anyone calling for sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. BBC Director General Tim Davie said the new legislation appeared to criminalise the process of independent journalism. “It leaves us no other option than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development,” he said in a statement.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)—the country’s public broadcaster—said it had temporarily suspended reporting from the ground in Russia so it could seek clarity on the new law. ABC News also said it would pause broadcasting from the country as it assessed the situation. The Washington Post, Dow Jones and Reuters said they were evaluating the new media law and the situation. You get the idea.
Leading video-sharing app TikTok has now suspended both live-streaming and new content from Russia in response to the country’s ‘fake news’ law.
TikTok has also begun applying labels to content from some state-controlled media accounts. On the platform, content from outlets such as RT—a Russian state-controlled international television network funded by the tax budget of the Russian government—now includes a label at the bottom of the video that reads “Russia state-controlled media,” with a link to more information.
Russia’s internet censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, announced plans to block access to Facebook around the country on Friday 4 March, in turn shutting it from promoting the free flow of information—while blaming the company’s restrictions on Russian state media. Putin’s new law could have a spiralling impact on the tech industry, pressuring companies to stop operating in the region completely, without the Russian government itself having to actively block any particular social media service.