MOSCOW – Vladimir Putin today confirmed that Russia would be instituting a national league of a gladiatorial death game, based loosely on the 1975 movie Rollerball.

The Premier of the Russian Federation told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

Here in Russia it is useless to hide the fact that we have a lot of problems. There is criminality, corruption, economic woes and a disaffected youth. Add to this we have political dissidents left right and centre. However, recently as I was riding bare-chested across the steppe close to my Dacha, it occurred to me that the James Cann Science Fiction film Rollerball might be the answer to all of our problems. I phoned Steven Segal and Gerard Depardieu and they both agreed with me vociferously.

The Norman Jewison directed futuristic fantasy shows a society where everything is perfect. Corporations rule a largely docile populace where crime and poverty have been eliminated. This is done via a violent sport which serves as both a cathartic outpouring for the blood lust of society and a model of obedience and sacrifice. That is until the rise of star played Jonathan E (James Cann) whose individual success puts at risk the very values that the sport is supposed to promote.

Aren’t you afraid of a Jonathan E character rising up?

No not at all. I have Pussy Riot and that’s okay isn’t it? Jonathan E would be easy for me to do deal with. I’d invite him for a night time stroll near the Kremlin. Ha ha!

Many Russia watchers believe that the new sport will be a popular move for a President who despite (or perhaps because of) foreign criticism has maintained high levels of domestic support.

The rules for Russian Rollerball will be much the same as shown in the latter games of the movie, where there are no fouls and players can be legitimately maimed or murdered as part of the game. The league will begin with twenty teams playing across Russia, with players recruited from Universities, opposition political parties, immigrant groups, homosexuals and journalists.

The first season of Russian Rollerball will begin in October of 2015 and will be available on Pay Per View.