MOSCOW – Building a snowman isn't always just a way to while away a long winter. For some in Russia and Ukraine, it's a way to possibly earn some significant money.
The YouTube channel SlivkiShow, popular among Russian-speakers with more than 12 million subscribers, launched some serious construction efforts last month by announcing a prize of 100,000 rubles ($1,500) for the tallest snowman built by viewers.
A group of young men from Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine where armed conflict between separatists and Ukrainian forces drags on, looked like serious contenders until they were undone by war and weather.
The contest may be a potentially lucrative lark for some, but a woman in the Arctic Circle city of Severomorsk wants the prize in order to defray the costs of surgery for her son.