Russia has introduced a campaign calling on people to be careful when taking selfies, after a spate of injuries and deaths of citizens making high-risk poses. They warn against posing with weapons and dangerous animals.
The leaflet, issued on Tuesday, calls on Russians to avoid potentially risky situations, and warns that "a cool selfie could cost you your life." Tips include not using a gun or other weapons, not climbing onto a roof or railway tracks, and not posing with a tiger.
Along with the pamphlet, Russia's Interior Ministry has put together a video featuring images shot by young Russians who sneak into high-rise buildings and take pictures of themselves on the top.
Authorities are trying to stop more senseless deaths, such as in May when a 21-year-woman in Moscow accidentally shot herself in the head with a pistol while taking a photograph. While she survived, others have not been so lucky. Two men died in January after taking a picture while holding a hand grenade with the pin pulled out, with only the phone they were using surviving the blast. A few months later, a teenager in the Ryazan region was killed after coming into contact with live wires while attempting to climb a railway bridge to take the perfect picture.
"Unfortunately we have noted recently that the number of accidents caused by lovers of self-photography is constantly increasing," Yelena Alexeyeva, an aide to the interior minister said.
"The problem really exists and leads to very unfortunate consequences."
Alexeyeva cautioned young people to think carefully before choosing the subject matter for their selfies. "Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of 'likes' could lead him on a journey to death, and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous," she said.
an/kms (dpa, AP, AFP)