A YouTuber’s comedy-pop anthem mocking corruption in the Russian government has gone viral amid anti-Kremlin protests.
Last week, Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny released an investigation into a lavish building reportedly owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Titled Putin’s Palace, the video report garnered 86 million views on YouTube in six days — spawning a new wave of satirical memes.
They included a video from comedian Andrei Gudkov, who teamed up with electronic-dance band Cream Soda and Sliv Treka to drop Akvadiskoteka — or Aqua-Disco in English.
Envisioned by video artist Andrey Ceausescu, the clip features Gudkov dancing around lavish rooms, each taken from digital renderings in Navalny’s investigation.
The lyrics also reference the alleged sumptuosity of the property on the Black Sea coast, which reportedly spans just under 80 square km. According to the song’s lyrics, “Acquadisco” is a wild hedonistic pool party for one. Or as the lyrics go: “The king of leisure,/ I will feel super here,” sings Gudkov. “Aquadisco,/ Here I am by the word super,/ Add duper.”
Gudkov has made a name for himself as the script-writer for many parody videos, such as a satirical congratulation clip to Russia’s special police forces, based on Rihanna’s song “S&M”.
Akvadiskoteka first appeared on the Youtube channel for Russian comedy show Chicken Curry on 23 January, the same day that tens of thousands of people took to the streets in anti-government demonstrations across Russia.
“We are against restricting the freedom of innocent people,” reads the description for the video. “We thank stock videos and Alexey Navalny’s channel for the background frames!”
The song soon began being played at demonstrations against Navalny’s jailing, as well as appearing on protest signs calling Putin’s reign “The Age of Aquadisco”. More than 3,000 protestors were arrested by police during the protests, which were not sanctioned by Russian officials.
Alexey Navalny was arrested on 17 January, after he returned from Berlin to Moscow after five months of medical treatment. He had been hospitalised in Berlin after being poisoned with a nerve-agent in July, an incident he has blamed on the Kremlin.