The early 2000s club hit “Satisfaction” by Benny Benassi is so catchy that it’s almost impossible to not dance when it comes on. But the song landed some Russian students in hot water after they decided to film themselves dancing sensually to its beat in their underwear.
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The video, which is similar to one posted by British soldiers a few years ago, was made by students at the Ulyanovsk Institute of Civil Aviation, one of Russia’s oldest civil airplane training schools. The school believes the video was filmed in October but was only posted to VK, a Russian social network site, on Jan. 16. The video racked up hundreds of thousands of views, to the chagrin the school and Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency.
The agency released a statement calling the video both “outrageous” and “immoral” and threatened those who participated with “the strictest disciplinary measures,” including expulsion.
Crime Russia reported that an official from the institute, Sergey Krasnov, said there was “no excuse” for the video and that those involved “will not find their place in civil aviation.” He also compared their actions to those of well-known musicians and activists Pussy Riot.
The threats of discipline only rallied people to the students’ aid. A petition called “Do not expel Ulyanovsk cadets” quickly gathered thousands of signatures, and people—from nursing students to retirees—created their own versions of the video as a form of protest using the hashtag #SatisfactionChallenge.
Satisfaction Challenge добрался до школы в Приморском крае. Девушки в школьной форме, в интерьерах кабинета домоводства записали клип в поддержку ульяновских лётчиков-первокурсников. https://t.co/v2tL81WklU #SatisfactionChallenge #хайп pic.twitter.com/cjkzidGxDE— Пятый канал Новости (@5tv) January 23, 2018
The pressure seems to have worked. On Jan. 18, Ulyanovsk Governor Sergey Morozov, posted on Facebook that the students would not be expelled. “I’m sure they should be punished,” he said in the post. “But the punishment is just, commensurate with the act. Our task is not to break their lives, not to cross out their dreams, but to make them think about the consequences of their actions.”
Считаю нужным обозначить свою позицию, которую довел и до руководства училища гражданской авиации, и намерен довести…Posted by Сергей Морозов on Thursday, January 18, 2018
It’s a satisfactory conclusion for everyone involved.