Videoblogging shaman walks to Moscow to ‘exorcise’ Putin
Global Voices Online
August 27, 2019 · 12:00 PM EDT
By Maxim Edwards
A shaman is walking from Siberia to Moscow in an eccentric bid to banish the Russian President Vladimir Putin from power.
Alexander Gabyshev left Yakutsk, capital of the vast Sakha Republic, on March 6 this year. The 51-year old ethnic Yakut shaman calls his quest divinely ordained, and insists that Putin is a manifestation of dark forces which must be banished to save Russia from ruin. God has one condition: Gabyshev has to reach Moscow on foot, which should allow him to muster the strength needed for the final showdown.
Gabyshev expects to reach Moscow in 2021, as the Russian capital is over 4,800 kilometres away from Yakutsk. Although Gabyshev hopes to gather companions over the course of his journey, only his dog and a friend who is chronicling the journey are permanently by his side.
These chronicles, which take the form of short video addresses from roadside campsites and short exchanges with passing drivers and long-distance truckers, have won Gabyshev a huge following in Russia. They are the reason bloggers and journalists have started to join the shaman for spells of a few kilometres to hear his forceful opinions on the state of the country. Hundreds of other viewers have turned out along the way to offer Gabyshev moral and material support. He has also become more amenable to those offers, occasionally staying in locals’ homes along the way.
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