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A Bunch of Students Got In Trouble For Dancing In Their Underwear And Now It's A Huge Meme

After the video went viral, university officials said they won't expel the students. Probably NSFW.

Posted on January 23, 2018, at 9:59 a.m. ET

Last week, this video of student pilots at the Ulyanovsk Institute of Civil Aviation started appearing across Russian social media.

View this video on YouTube

The video was made and recorded by 14 students at the institute, one of Russia's oldest civil airplane training schools, back in October last year. The video, showing the students dancing to "Satisfaction" by Benny Benassi, is believed to have been inspired by a similar skit back in 2013, made by British soldiers.

When the video was published up by the Russian social network VK on Jan. 16 it quickly gained a huge amount of attention, racking up hundreds of thousands of views.

Unable to ignore the video, Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency condemned the cadets' actions, telling Interfax it was "outrageous".

"To all who involved in this amoral episode the toughest possible measure will be taken. Up to dismissal and expulsion from the university," a spokesperson for the agency warned.

The head of the university, Sergei Krasnov, called the video "sad" and, according to Russian media, said "forgiveness is impossible."

"I would even compare it with Pussy Riot, who sneered at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, and UIGA is a temple of sciences," he said.

After the university head compared the students to activist group Pussy Riot, things started to spiral out of control.

The Ulyanovsk region's governor created a special commission to investigate it, with the local Transport Prosecutors Office launching a formal investigation to determine if the students should be expelled.

VK's community page Mash published a note that one of the students was forced to write to the head of his university.

The student said the "video had only an entertaining purpose and did not propagate anything," and explained the stunt was meant to cheer them up as they were separated from their friends and family while at school.

People began to call for others to support the cadets by doing their own versions of the video.

Вот была бы у нас «Нормальная» страна, сейчас бы в поддержку курсантов - все военные, пожарники и спасатели свои бы…

Which eventually turned into a "Satisfaction Challenge" hashtag.

#satisfactionchallenge #protest #strike #russia #elections #president #navalny - #бойкот #забастовка…

As controversy around the video gathered steam, so did the number of videos in support of it. Like this one, by agricultural college students:

View this video on YouTube

Or this one by students at the Ministry of Emergency Situations...

Or this one by nursing students...

Or this one by construction students...

Naval students...

Electrical students, equestrians...

There was even one with student actors — all in various costumes.

Moms and schoolchildren are joining in on the craze. It's a thing.

By Jan. 22, the cadets' video had been viewed more than 800,000 times on YouTube.

A petition, set up on Jan. 20, has gathered more than 60,000 signatures already, urging universities authorities not to expel the students.

Following the uproar, the governor of Ulyanovsk, Sergey Morozov, posted on Facebook that the students would not be expelled, as it would "not add to their patriotism and upbringing." Instead, he said they should be punished "to make them think about the consequences of their actions."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.