When British soldiers posted a cheeky video of themselves in 2015 dancing in their underwear to the Benny Benassi dance hit, Satisfaction, most people dismissed it as laddish, military humor.
The same joke has not gone down at all well in Russia.
Fourteen aviation cadets at Ulyanovsk Civil Aviation Institute are facing disciplinary action, including possible expulsion, for deciding to shoot a similar video.
The video, shot in October but uploaded to YouTube this week, shows the boys dancing in their underwear around their dormitory. They are wearing their official Russian aviation caps and leather belts.
After the video appeared, the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) announced Tuesday it was taking the matter very seriously. All of those involved, including the academy’s leadership, face reprimands for the ‘immoral episode.’
The agency says it is the first case of its sort in the 90-year history of civil aviation in the country, adding ‘cadets insulted all employees of the industry with their actions.’
Graduates from the prestigious academy often go on to fly for Russia’s leading airlines, including Aeroflot and Ural.
Following Rosaviatsiya’s announcement on Tuesday, the Privolzhsky Transport Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday that it was also looking into the incident.
Ulyanovsk Institute rector Sergey Krasnov condemned the video, suggesting those involved ‘will not find their place in civil aviation … the most serious conclusions will follow.’
Petr Timofeev, head of the Institute’s disciplinary department, called the video ‘disgusting behavior… It is so painful. We invest so much in these people and they behave in such a way.’
In Russia, a petition has been started urging authorities not to punish the cadets in any way that might hamper their civil aviation careers. It has gained over 4,000 signatures.
Russian authorities are keen to crack down on what they perceive to be Western decadence or immoral behavior. The country notoriously passed a law in 2013 banning the promotion of non-traditional family values. The legislation has prohibited positive media coverage of LGBTI rights and gay Pride parades.