Stop press: Can you tell the real Russian headlines from the fake ones?

5 October 2016

Weird news and photos from Russia are a big deal outside of the country, with sites like Vice and Buzzfeed regularly tapping into the topic’s unlimited potential. But it’s also very popular inside Russia, where popular news aggregator Breaking Mad collects the weirdest, craziest and scariest headlines from regional media.

Breaking Mad started as a project in 2013, and in its current form the homepage is just a long list of bizarre headlines. All the news the site shares is real, and even though some headlines can be tragic, altogether they paint a very surreal picture of life in Russia. While some accuse Breaking Mad of reinforcing stereotypes, all the news comes from real sources, and nothing is made up — even when it sounds like it is.

But can you tell the difference between real news headlines from Russia and fake ones?

Take the quiz to find out!


Moscow psychic offers patriotic karma cleansing for those returning from Europe

Real Fake



Squirrel steals secret files from Irkutsk region town administration, is chased by police

Real Fake



Chelyabinsk company team-building exercise uncovers a dead body in a local swamp

Real Fake



Novosibirsk woman rolls herself in linoleum to hide from bailiffs

Real Fake



Kislovodsk clairvoyants announce local terrarium iguana a “reincarnation of Joseph Stalin”

Real Fake



Moscow man attempts to sell his cat's virginity online

Real Fake



Instant noodle manufacturer sued by St Petersburg cossacks over “suggestive” noodle shape

Real Fake



Tomsk history museum fires all staff except mouser cat

Real Fake



Moscow policeman receives 3 million rouble bribe and retires

Real Fake



Kirov man finds grenade in garbage bin, takes a selfie with it

Real Fake



Samara PE teacher arrested for organising an “illegal funeral start-up”

Real Fake



Moscow man changes name to Antichrist, gets evicted

Real Fake



Siberia man dies after winning pelmeni-eating contest

Real Fake



Krimsk police decides against bringing criminal charges against a raccoon

Real Fake



Omsk engineers unveil robot-priest

Real Fake



Ministry of Health bans Perm residents from dying

Real Fake



Bear attacks Bear Population Control Committee in Kamchatka region

Real Fake



Krasnoyarsk woman arrested for killing third husband in a row

Real Fake



Local oligarch convicted in bee theft case in Altai

Real Fake



Find out how you scored

Show answers

You scored: 0 / 20

Weird Russia novice. You don't know your unravelling PE teachers from hives full of stolen bees – and it's ok. Just don't attempt to get your patriotic karma cleanse until you level up.

Weird Russia savvy. You certainly know a thing or two about deadly pelmeni-eating contests and criminal raccoons. You can hone your skills by consulting clairvoyants from Kislovodsk.

Weird Russia connoisseur. Whether you're led by intuition or knowledge, you are excellently versed in robot priests and Stalin reincarnations. Treasure your valuable talent in these times of unreliable media.