“You’re a Man”

On Thursday, April 20, the Russian Defense Ministry posted a voluntary military service recruitment ad on its Telegram channel. The phrase “You’re a man” is the advertising spot’s slogan.

The Details. The video features three characters: a store security guard, a fitness trainer, and a taxi driver. First, all of them are shown at work, as the following captions appear on the screen: “Is this what you dreamed of defending?”, “Is this how you wanted to show your strength?”, and “Is this the road you meant to choose?” The men are then shown in military uniforms whose sleeves are emblazoned with “Z” patches.

The video concludes with the words “You’re a man. Be one” and a call to sign up for volunteer military service [along with a promise of a monthly salary starting at 204,000 rubles, or approximately 2,280 euros].

Another advertisement for volunteer military service was discovered by Echo FM. The ad spot was originally broadcast on the sports channel Match TV. In the video clip, Russian soldiers are shown driving over rough terrain in a military vehicle.

“It seats a group of up to nine people. Everyone in here is one of our boys,” the characters in the advertisement say.

Source: Echo FM (Telegram), 19 April 2023

Who starred in the ad. One of the actors in the “You’re a man” ad was Vladimir Cheprakov, a fitness trainer from Odessa, Verstka discovered, after locating his VK social media page.

Meanwhile, Agentstvo reports that the fitness trainer was played by Belarusian national Maxim Shalypin. He was a coach at a Belorussian [sic] club in Vitebsk, the publication writes.

Muscovite Mikhail Morozov also appeared in the ad. In 2014, Morozov published a social media post about the Russian Federation’s “aggression” due to its “declaration of fratricidal war” against Ukraine. In the ad spot, he played the role of a taxi driver.

The actor who played the security guard was another Muscovite, Anton Volosnikhin. After the shoot, he posted photos of himself dressed in a military uniform with a “Z” patch on his VK page.

Source: “‘You’re a man’: Defense Ministry releases volunteer military service ad,” Bumaga, 20 April 2023. Translated by the Russian Reader, who inserted the two videos, above, and the screen shot of Mr. Volosnikhin’s social media page, which were not part of the original article in Russian.

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