For today’s piece, I have a developing crime story in the Russian town of Nizhny Tagil, in the Sverdlovsk Oblast. As is my wont, I attempt to re-tell the story in chronological order:
On the night of 1-2 November, unknown thieves kidnapped a reindeer from a private farm in Nizhny Tagil. The vic’s name is Bugor, and he is eight years old. The accompanying video shows Bugor in action before his kidnapping: Rubbing his antlers, eating his mash, just living his life. But Bugor is no ordinary reindeer. He belongs to the local outpost of “Ded Moroz”, aka “Grandfather Frost”, aka the guy who flies through the air and delivers presents to children on Christmas night. In fact, Bugor is the LEAD REINDEER in the harness pack.
According to eye witnesses, the still-unapprehended kidnappers took Bugor out of his enclosure, led him 500 meters down the road, and then shoved him into a car, and drove away.
According to Santa’s spokesperson (Director of the Ural Residency Branch of Ded Moroz), Natalia Skorokhodova, “The number of people in Sverdlovsk who know how to handle reindeer, you can count on the fingers of one hand. Therefore (we posit that) the kidnapper is not a random person, but has experience in dealing with reindeers.”
Natalia also suspects, that this was a premeditated crime. She reveals the sinister fact, that several days before the kidnapping occurred, an aerial DRONE was seen hovering over the farm. Unfortunately, the farm was not equipped with video surveillance.
A week later, this piece from 8 November shows that the crime is still unsolved. Bugor is still missing. Volunteers have been scouring the whole area around Santa’s farm, looking for the kidnapped reindeer. The video shows footage from a private copter or drone, used in the aerial search. Police are also using drones to assist in the search. But still nothing.
In interview to the press, Natalia Skorokhodova expressed her theory that somebody stole Bugor for the purposes of exhibiting him at a private farm, for some kind of Christmas event. “I am not a wealthy person,” Natalia remarked. “Therefore [as I say on the flyers I put up] I can only afford to pay 20,000 rubles [as a reward] for information, about what happened to my reindeer.”
Kysh-Babay Decides to Help Out
As of today (12 November), Bugor still has not been found, unfortunately. However, there was some good news in that Kysh Babay, who is the Tatar version of Santa Claus, has offered to help the Ural Mountains Santa Claus.
Typically, Kysh Babay is distinguished by Tatar fancy embroidered garb, a green and white cap, and a flowing white beard. Kysh is always accompanied by his lovely young …. er… assistant. In this respect, he is very similar to the Slavic “Grandfather Frost”, who is never seen without a lovely young girl at his side.
In this video, Kysh addresses the Sverdlovsk Santa, stating the following:
“Greetings, my Dear Ural Mountains Grandfather Frost! I want to offer my support for you during this difficult time. I heard that you have lost your beloved reindeer Bugor.
“Naturally, as we approach the New Year Holidays, it will be very difficult for you to transport the presents to all the children…
“Therefore I have decided to assist you in your misfortune. If your reindeer is not found (in time), then I will send you my own small, lame-footed horse. However, I am sure that a miracle will occur on New Year’s, and that Bugor will return to you in time.”
yalensis note: The story is still developing, I will try to stay on top of it, let us all hope that the thieving perps are caught and brought to justice.