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Selfies Can Kill, Warns Russia's Interior Ministry

Russia has launched a safe selfie campaign following a spate of deadly accidents. "Racing after a high number of ’likes’ could lead someone on a journey to death," said a police spokeswoman.
July 8, 2015, 12:40pm
Photo via ministère de l'Intérieur russe

It might seem like fairly straightforward common sense — don't pose for selfies on railroad tracks, roofs, or while posing with weapons or tigers.

But it's advice the Russian government believes its citizens need to take on board, following a spate of deaths and serious accidents caused by dangerous selfie-taking this year.

On Tuesday, the Interior Ministry launched a "Safe Selfies" campaign including a leaflet, video and online advice about how to stay safe while taking your own photo, warning people that "a cool selfie could cost you your life."

At least 10 people have died while taking selfies in Russia this year, reported the Associated Press, while as many as 100 people have been injured.

The most recent death occurred last Saturday night, when 21-year-old Anna Krupeynikova toppled to her death from a bridge in Moscow, while sightseeing close to the city's International Business Center.

In May, a schoolboy died in the Ryazan district after coming in contact with live electrical wires while mid-selfie on a railway bridge.

The same month, a 21-year-old woman accidentally shot herself in the head in Moscow while taking a selfie holding a pistol, reported AFP. She survived.

"Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of 'likes' could lead someone on a journey to death and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous," said police spokeswoman Yelena Alexeyeva.

A Russian Interior Ministry leaflet uses road-sign style warnings to tell people how not to take selfies. Photo via Russian Interior Ministry

Reckless poses are not the only way selfies have landed Russians in trouble this year. Earlier this year, VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky tracked a serving Russian soldier 4,000 miles from Siberia to the border of Ukraine using only his selfies, disproving Vladimir Putin's claim that none of the country's troops were there.

Bato Dambaev later denied that it was him in the photos, though they had been posted to his personal social media pages.

"These soldiers are no different than young adults in the rest of the world, documenting their lives with copious amounts of selfies or vanity shots in Rambo poses that they circulate widely on social media," wrote Ostrovsky.

Watch the VICE News documentary "Selfie Soldiers: Russia Checks in to Ukraine"

Related: Russia Denies That Its Soldiers Are in Ukraine, But We Tracked One There Using His Selfies

Follow Sally Hayden on Twitter: @sallyhayd