Villagers wearing hay bale costumes celebrate the winter festival of Malanka on January 14, 2015 in Krasnoilsk, Ukraine. The holiday is celebrated on New Year’s Day of the Orthodox calendar. It involves dressing in costumes and going from house to house as a group singing traditional songs.
Our colleagues from The Times [continue](http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/weather/article6965700.ece) [to write](http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/outdoors/article6977947.ece) about the inhabitants of Siberia who live permanently in a horrific frosts:
> Fur, felt and food are Siberia’s holy trinity for surviving and thriving in [exceptionally cold weather](http://metkere.com/en/2010/01/ice-yoda.html). “If Britain is getting a dose of our weather, then tell people to put on a fur coat and hat – real, of course”, – says Galina Ivanovna, 62, who stands at her outdoor market stall in Novosibirsk for six hours a day. In temperatures as low as minus 38C,she has little appetite for animal rights.
> “Wear valenki, boots made from wool felt, and put on lots of woollen clothes underneath”, she adds. “You need good thick gloves, like the ones I sell, and make sure you protect your neck with a really warm scarf. Thick, long socks too. Above all, eat a good breakfast before you go out. I usually have fried potatoes cooked in lard and a mug of lemon tea with three sugars”.
Obviously, journalists are trying to inspire the freezing UK citizens. We hope they are successful.
Russia’s Prime Minister [Vladimir Putin](http://metkere.com/en/2009/09/big-brother.html) is a well-known fan of judo, but he could face his greatest challenge yet as a martial arts class for grannies is ready [to challenge Putin on the mat](http://rt.com/Top_News/2009-12-26/babushkas-putin-martial-arts.html).
“Vladimir Putin! We invite you to come here. We can show you what we have learned”, – says Lyudmila Ignatenko, aikido class student from [Novosibirsk](http://metkere.com/en/2009/09/look.html). – “You know, once a Japanese guy came here – I knocked him out. Why not try it with Putin?”
“Vladimir Vladimirovich! Please come here! And if you allow us – we will try our favorite grips on you”, – says another aikido class student, Lyubov Adamchik.
Mr Putin possesses a black belt in judo, so it is likely he will not be easily knocked out. Regardless, the ladies are well-prepared.
“The ladies are not playing here, we don’t gather for tea or chatter. This is aikido as it should be”, – says aikido trainer Andrey Podoinikov.