Barbie in Russia: Between Popular Fury and Political Controversy

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While Barbie is a cultural icon in many countries, in Russia her presence has generated a whirlwind of emotions and debates. Despite sanctions and a government ban, pirated versions of the Barbie movie are shown in Russian cinemas, sparking both popular enthusiasm and political criticism. This article explores the complexity of this phenomenon in the Russian context.


Officially, Barbie is not shown in Russia. However, in Moscow shopping centers, giant pink houses have been erected, and the Barbie movie draws crowds. This is despite several Hollywood studios having stopped releasing their films in Russia due to the country's invasion of Ukraine.

The controversy:

The Russian Ministry of Culture is not happy with the situation. They argue that the film "is not in line with the objectives and goals set by our president to preserve and strengthen traditional Russian moral and spiritual values." However, the Russian public seems to have a different opinion. Many believe they should have the right to choose what they want to watch.

Barbie and Politics:

MP Maria Butina strongly criticizes both the doll and the film, arguing that Barbie is problematic as a female form and that the film should not be shown in Russian cinemas. But her criticism goes further, linking Barbie's presence in Russia to a violation of international law, especially in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Barbie's presence in Russian cinemas is more than just a cultural phenomenon; She has become a symbol of the struggle between individual freedom and state authority in Russia. While the government tries to impose its vision of "Russian values", the people seem to have their own idea of ​​what it means to be Russian in the modern world.

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