Chechen men are well-known for their manliness and religiousness. One might expect toughness from Chechen athletes, but they turned out to be superstitious too. To everyone’s surprise, the painting, depicting Martian Aelita character from Tolstoy’s sci-fi novel, freaked athletes out. Chechen boxers refused to take part in the boxing match, because of an “evil spirit”. As soon as they noticed the wall painting, they left the building. Organizers didn’t get a chance to explain the meaning of painting to athletes.
“Aelita” is a 1923 science fiction novel about two Soviets who went to Mars to establish communism and to get rid of Engineers, who basically run their planet into an environmental and sociological disaster.
The novel was adapted in the Soviet Union to silent film under the same title shot by Yakov Protazanov in 1924.
Russkiy Razmer, a Russian dance-pop band recorded “Plutonia” music video which is loosely based on “Aelita” novel.
Image via Eurosport.ru