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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

In the Spotlight

This week, Britain’s Daily Mail highlighted the case of Kristina Rei from St. Petersburg, who has enormous lips springing out of her face, created with what it said was £4,000 ($6,215) worth of silicone injections.

You can always trust the Daily Mail to give an absolutely balanced picture of life in Russia. One of its recent stories was about a woman who kept an alien in her fridge. But you can’t fault it for being quick to pick up juicy stories, and what could be juicier than Rei, whose lips are the world’s biggest, the paper said.

I had a look into Rei and found myself in a mysterious parallel world of women who actually want to have “trout pouts.”

In the mainstream, it’s mainly pop stars who go for this look. Singers Masha Rasputina and Masha Malinovskaya, whose upper lip has a weird notch in it, come to mind, as well as a pretty contestant on talent show “Fabrika Zvyozd,” Alexa, who suffered side effects when she injected her lips, making them unintentionally huge.

Russian media has looked into the lip phenomenon, calling such women “devushki-mukly” after Mooqla dolls, creepy plastic figures with big lips that are made in Russia. If you look up “mukly” on the Internet, there are a lot of pictures of women who hang out at night clubs aimed at rich men as well as soft porn images, since a lot of mukly seem to get their breasts done, too. The women who have had a lot of work done are said to be “tuned,” like cars.

It almost goes without saying that Rei fleetingly appeared on TNT’s “Dom-2,” a reality show that’s a haven for exhibitionists. She was planning to make a play for the heart of “black wizard” Vlad Kadoni. In stories about “Dom-2,” I found the photos used by the Daily Mail and even a copy of her passport, saying she’s from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in far eastern Russia and is 22.

She is listed on a dating site on mail.ru, where she says she is interested in both men and women and is into drawing and getting nail extensions. Her form says frankly that she wants to “find a sponsor.” It says she has had serious gay and straight relationships. But it doesn’t look as if she visits the site often.

Her page on social-networking site Vkontakte has lots of stream-of-

consciousness babbling and describes her as an “artist, outsider, bi.” Perhaps she injects her lips as an extreme experiment on her body, rather than just seeing them as sexy.

This month, Vesti Moskva television interviewed another mukla, called Olesya Malibu, although her real surname is the more prosaic Kovalenko.

She said she maintains her lips with eight injections of gel, applied every three months. And she didn’t stop at the lips, also expanding her breasts from a B cup to an E. She looked oddly wholesome, playing with some adorable kittens.

Moskovsky Komsomolets sounded the alarm last month on women who “grow their lips to unbelievable sizes and stuff their breasts with silicone.” It warned that: “People have become mukly.”

It also interviewed Malibu, who seems to be the go-to mukla. She said she naturally had plump lips but made them bigger to even them out. “I increased them to the maximum, so they could be seen from far away,” she said. “I like everything big: lips, boobs, cars.” She told the paper that injections into each lip cost 25,000 rubles ($795).

Malibu also appeared on “Dom-2,” but only for a day. She just wanted to prove she could get through the auditions, she told MK. She recently took part in Channel One’s prime-time dating show “Let’s Get Married.” But that didn’t work out, she said, and she is now dating a man she didn’t want to name. “He is too famous and what’s more, he’s married.”