June 19, 2024

Russia Obsessed With ‘Barbie’ Despite Movie Not Showing Due to War

  • Russia is obsessed with “Barbie” even though it can’t be released there due to the war in Ukraine.
  • Influencers are dressing in pink, while bars and cafes are hosting tie-in events. 
  • Despite Western companies refusing to screen movies in Russia, pirating is widespread.

Russia has been taken over by Barbiemania – even though the movie isn’t being released there as part of a backlash to the invasion of Ukraine.

Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” was released internationally on July 21 — but not in Russia, where Warner Bros. and other Western studios abandoned the market when the invasion began in early 2022.

Nonetheless, Russian movie fans and companies are doing their best to take part anyway, showing off their pink outfits and marketing unofficial events to capitalize on the moment. 

Some cinemas have been showing new movies anyway, illegally screening high-quality pirated copies — and the same is being planned for Barbie, per local reports.

And across Russia, bars, cafes and bakeries launched Barbie-themed events and embraced a pink Barbie aesthetic.


Russian socialite and former TV host Ksenia Sobchak posted a video of herself watching the movie, although it is not clear if this was in a cinema or if she was streaming it from home.

In the Duma, Russia’s parliament, several lawmakers posed in pink outfits in an apparent nod to the movie’s release.


Russian celebrities and influencers also posted videos and images on Instagram dressed in Barbie attire or lip-syncing to the song “Barbie Girl” by Aqua.


This is not the first time the Mattel doll has caused a stir in Russia.

President Vladimir Putin banned Barbies along with other Western toys in 2002 due to a belief they have a negative impact on the minds of young children.

The Russian Ministry of Education said that the toys had a “harmful effects” on children and were “thought to awaken sexual impulses” and “encourage consumerism.”

The “Barbie” movie has so far raked in over $400 million at the global box office, making it the largest opening weekend of the year so far.

The highly-anticipated movie was bolstered by a behemoth marketing campaign, rumored to have cost over $100 million. 

And Russians don’t seem to want to miss out on the fun.

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