Russian Officials Think Pokemon GO Is Evil

Russian officials are flipping out about Pokemon GO. And what will dispel its destabilising effect on society, the Moscow government believes, is developing their own, more patriotic, version of it. AP Photo/Nati Harnik

The viral mobile game still hasn't seen a Russian release more than two weeks after its German launch. Yet, Russian Pokemon fans have found workarounds for playing, like registering the app abroad. Fearing how their country will fare under a Pokepocolypse, Russian officials have been spurred to make inflammatory statements about the game's effect on Russian society.

According to the Moscow Times, Nikolai Nikiforov, the Russian government's Communications Minister, speculated that Pokemon GO's purpose is to "collect video-information" under the auspices of intelligence services (read: The CIA). Although he doesn't support a complete ban on the game like other Russian officials, he does suspect that "intelligence services might have contributed to this app".

Frants Klintsevich, a member of Russian parliament, said that "It feels like the devil arrived through [Pokemon] and is trying to tear our morality apart from the inside." The government has even commissioned Russia's consumer rights agency to look into Pokemon GO's "possible harmful psychological effects," reports the Moscow Times.

Today, Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry released safety instructions for Pokemon GO users to cushion Russian players against the game's "risks". Citing the fact that many thousands of people will be "disconnected from reality" and "not paying attention to traffic and pedestrian crossings," Vladimir Puchkov, head of the Emergency Situations Ministry, has distributed guidelines for safe play to citizens interested in the game.

The Ministry also announced that they will be offering "master classes" on catching Pokemon, reports Sputnik News. Puchkov explained:

"Our specialists of the State Fire Academy of Emercom of Russia have already prepared and distributed methodological recommendations of safety during the catching of Pokemons, have conducted master classes."

He added that "when somebody spreads information and thousands of people gather in one place and try to divide one Pokemon between a thousand people it can also lead to a problem."

The Russian government doesn't seem completely opposed to AR games generally, despite statements indicating otherwise. By the end of August, Moscow City Hall will release its own patriotic interpretation of Pokemon GO. Instead of Pokemon, players will catch Russian historical figures like Peter the Great and Ivan the Terrible. It will only work in Moscow.

Moscow's city government explained their decision to launch their own Pokemon GO-like AR mobile game: "The goal of the app is to attract attention to Moscow's rich cultural heritage using fashionable augmented reality technology, as well as give Muscovites a reason to walk around more."


    Yes, because Putin is such a shining example of morality and decency.

    Fearing how their country will fare under a Pokepocolypse, Russian officials have been spurred to make inflammatory statements about the game’s effect on Russian society.

    As has every other country in the bloody world.
    The way some outlets are acting, the game causes super pedos to jump from the screen and snatch up the chillins or going on about how it's a moral problem.

    Last edited 31/07/16 7:50 pm

    In soviet Russia, Pokemon catch you!

    Seriously though, i understand that people can do stupid things while playing Pokemon GO but that it involves "Intelligence services"? That's just ridiculous =/

      Nah, I'm not so sure about that. Cameras are great intelligence gathering devices. Wouldn't take much for the camera to capture two images. One with the sprite, one without, saved to a hidden partition...what are you doing here? Playing Pokémon Go.

        Ah well that makes a little more sense with your explanation.

        Frankly it still sounds like they are grasping at straws =)

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