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17th DEC 2016

A BRUTAL Russian reality show allowing “fighting, murder and rape” will see contestants armed with knives and dumped in the Siberian wilderness to battle bears, wolves and freezing temperatures.

The Hunger Games-style contest will see 30 participants – half of them women – ditched in the wild for a nine-month survival test in temperatures sinking to minus 40C or lower.

Contestants from different countries seeking a £1.3 million prize will be issued with knives but not guns and expected to hunt and fish for food to stay alive.

The shocking rules say: “Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.”

Russian millionaire Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, 35, is the brains behind the extreme contest – but says the show won’t take responsibility for what happens to the contestants.

He said: “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 spelt out in a document to be signed by the participant before the start of the show.”

But while the show’s own rules are that absolutely anything goes, Russian criminal laws will still apply if contestants do end up turning savage.

Contestants are told if there is proof of criminality “the police will come and take you away”.

But critics claim the rules will lead to “savage and bestial behaviour” among contestants as they are forced to live like wild animals.

“It’s as if they’re trying to encourage rape or murder. There may be cameras around but they won’t see everything,” said one online commentator.

Called “Game2: Winter”, the participants – who must be over 18 and “mentally sane” – are expected to fork out £132,000 to take part, although some will be selected in an online poll and enter for free.

“There will be no film crew – the whole area will be dotted with cameras and each participant will be carrying a portable camera with seven-hour life rechargeable battery,” said Mr Pyatkovsky.

The survival contest will be screened online 24/7 using footage from 2,000 fixed cameras on a 2,225 acre slice of taiga, with translations into English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.

“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 the television executive.

He believes the show, which starts in July, will attract “rich and risky” people craving a new and ultimate challenge.

They 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 40C or lower in the depths of the Siberian winter.

While the snow doesn’t melt, the area’s summers are balmy enough for bikini-clad snowboarders to take to the slopes every year.

He warned: “You should also keep in mind that this will be a real forest, with dangerous wildlife and harmful insects

“Of course, there will be some safety precautions in place, but it would still take about half an hour to reach the area where the show will take place by helicopter.”

“Those taking part will be urged to forage and store food before winter in order to survive the cold months,” reported The Siberian Times.

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

So far the filmmakers have had interest from “professional rescuers, people without special training, professional travellers, entrepreneurs, photographers, jewellers and psychologists”.

Producer Nikolay Ginzburg said: “It sounds strange, but on this project it will be easier to survive not for a professional rescuer but for a simple person.

“It will be necessary to act intuitively, rather than following instructions.”

Each participant will have a panic button linked to a satellite. If they use it, they will be evacuated from the Siberian taiga, but not allowed to return.

All who survive nine months will share the prize.

“The show will absolutely extreme,” said Mr Pyatkovsky.

“There will be no doctors with the participants. If someone gets sick, wounded and realise that he/she can not pass the test, the helicopter will take him/her away to the doctors. Then the participant will quit the game forever.”

Contestants could take on board a few tips from our guide to surviving in the wild based on what we learnt from The Revenant, which sees Leonardo DiCaprio’s character mauled by a bear and left for dead.

Tips include not being a fussy eater, learning basic medical skills and how to improvise with what nature has given you.

The IT millionaire claims that as well as being screened on a dedicated web TV channel, there is interest from mainstream broadcasters in at least five countries to screen the survival show.

Mr Pyatkovsky previously hit the headlines for creating a controversial app which blocks calls from debt collectors.




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