It may be cold in Siberia, but the people's hearts are warm with burning passion for Leonardo DiCaprio. Russians in far northeastern Yakutia are gathering their gold and silver in order to melt it down into an Oscar silhouette for the actor. The "Oscar for Leo" project is headed up by a woman named Tatyana Yegorova, who recently told Russia's TASS news agency that after she and other longtime fans saw The Revenant, they decided it was high time DiCaprio was awarded an Oscar. The Yakutia version of the Oscar statue will vary slightly from they official statue. Instead of grasping a sword, he will be holding a Choron, the traditional three-legged goblet "symbolizing peace and expressing the people's love for the actor." And the Oscar figure's head will look toward the sky because, according to Yegovora, "when a person looks at the sky, the stars, only then does he realize his true purpose and become a part of nature," which is a sentiment that is more beautiful than the shiny little statue itself. Over 100 fans have donated to the cause so far, and even though they don't know how they will get the statue to Leo yet, they're hopeful that they will find a way. Discuss

Well this is something. In honor of Vladimir Putin’s 63 birthday, Russian jeweler Caviar is releasing 63 special edition iPhone 6s. For a mere $3,356, You get a 128GB iPhone with a titanium back featuring a Putin’s profile in gold, the country’s emblem and a plaque with a verse from Russia’s national anthem. Because nothing says former Communist country like extreme opulence. Discuss

Though they said there is nothing to indicate Russia was directly involved in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, U.S. intelligence officials believe that the separatists in Ukraine responsible may have been trained by Russia. Last week, a commercial airliner carrying 298 people was downed by a missile near a conflict-plagued area of the Ukrainian and Russian border. According to intelligence evidence, the commercial flight was mistaken for a Ukrainian military plane, and was targeted by the pro-Russia militants.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told CNN, “We do think President Putin and the Russian government bears responsibility for the support they’ve given the separatists… We’re going to continue to pull the thread on this case to determine exactly who do we believe fired that missile.” In response, the U.S. and EU have placed new sanctions on Russia, mostly aimed at restricting Russian officials and business leaders ... Discuss

A journalist for Vice Media has been taken hostage by a pro-Russian separatist group while reporting on the situation in Ukraine. Details of Simon Ostrovsky’s abduction are still not completely clear, but his last Tweets seem to indicate that a press conference with a local pro-Russian “mayor” had suddenly taken a concerning turn when reporters were not allowed to leave. In a statement, the State Department wrote, “The Department of State takes its obligation to assist U.S. citizens abroad seriously and stands ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. We have no further information at this time” ... Discuss

Evidently, there aren’t a lot of fires happening in Russia right now, because this group of firefighters had enough time to construct an elaborate hovercraft out of high-power hoses and what appears to be a mini-trampoline. Why? Because, why not? ... Discuss

Today, Russian President Vladimir Puntin signed documents that formally annexed the region of Crimea, officially making it a part of Russia—at least according to Russian officials. The United States and other Western nations have said that the move was a violation of international law. In a speech prior to the signing, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said, “Frankly speaking, I don't care about Russia signing this deal; I care about Ukraine, Ukrainians and our European future.” He also reiterated the position that, “We strongly condemn the unconstitutional referendum in Crimea. We will not recognize the annexation, nor will we recognize it in the future.” The Obama administration announced new economic sanctions against Russia, which appear to already be having a dramatic effect. The S&P lowered the countries credit rating in light of the sanctions, and according to this report, “ $60 billion left Russia in the first three months of this year” ... Discuss