Generally, Russia during World War II wasn't really a place you wanted to be, what with the starvation and the war crimes and the disproportionately high number of civilian casualties. But this doesn't resonate with Russian diet blogger Alexander Siry, who recommended the "Leningrad blockade diet" on the anniversary of the end of the siege of Leningrad, Jezebel reports. The only possible explanation I can come up with here is that Siry was gunning for the dubious honor of most painfully offensive and disrespectful way to remember the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the siege. If so, congratulations! Because he won by virtue of being the only one who'd want to compete.
For those of you who haven't had history class in a while, Leningrad was the site of the deadliest siege of World War II, and possibly in human history. Nazis bombed the city, formerly known as St. Petersburg, almost daily for three years in addition to cutting off supplies, electricity, and heating for the three million residents. The majority of Germany's strategy, however, depended on waiting for either starvation or the frigid Russian winters to take effect, and they didn't have to wait long. During the winter of 1941, rations were cut to 125 milligrams of bread a day, which is equivalent to a thick slice of bread, and by the time the siege ended after 900 days, 630,000 civilians were dead, more than 10 times the number of deaths caused by the bombing of Hiroshima.
But what did Siry take away from all this? How thin the city's residents were after three years of starvation, of course! According to BuzzFeed, the head of the Facebook group Get Thin Like Me claimed that he created the diet "to honor the 71st anniversary of the end of the blockade." Followers of the diet eat 400 milligrams of brown bread a day, although men (but not women) are allowed to drink 100 milligrams of vodka in the evening, BuzzFeed reports. The authors of the diet even provided a handy recipe for "blockade bread," which the Moscow Times reports includes ingredients "now only found at pet stores."
As you can imagine, many Russians aren't happy with this turn of events, taking to the Facebook page to voice their opinions. According to the Moscow Times:
"Are you mentally insane? What's going on in your 'thin' heads?!" a user who identified herself as Yana Podyanova Timmerman wrote beneath the post.
"There are no words! What an infinitely sick fantasy," said Elena Antipas, another user.
Siry, however, doesn't get what all the fuss is about. He told BuzzFeed that it's all been "blown out of proportion" and that he'd seen advertisements with "much more dubious connections to the blockade around town." Is it better or worse that he doesn't understand what a terrible idea this was? Either way, I doubt he'll be suggesting any more "themed" diets in the future.