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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cartoon With Putin to Air on 2x2 Next Spring

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will appear on Russian television next spring as the weapon-wielding interrogator of two U.S. comedy legends, an evil baby and a talking dog.

Cartoon channel 2x2 told The Moscow Times that it would air a new episode of the popular U.S. cartoon comedy “Family Guy,” known in Russia as “The Griffins,” despite having excised less-than-flattering portrayals of the former president in the past.

The episode plays heavily on stereotypes about Russia and Putin’s past as a KGB officer.

“It will be broadcast in the spring, the complete version. It was approved that its content does not violate any ethical requirements,” 2x2 spokesman Andrei Andreyev said.

He said all cartoons were checked with the company’s legal team before being aired.

Episode 4 of Season 7, which has been released in the United States and is available online, shows two regular characters — 1-year-old Stewie Griffin and the talking family dog, Brian — going to Moscow with comedians Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase. On their arrival, they see busy streets full of bears riding unicycles. Since the Americans stick out, they are quickly captured by armed men and delivered straight to Putin’s office as suspected U.S. spies.

Putin is sitting at his desk between two Russian flags and under portraits of Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin. When the Americans come in, he makes a show of using weapons in a nonviolent way. Looking stern, the prime minister makes a coat hanger from what appears to be nunchucks. He then uses a rifle to shoot an arrow to hang his tie on the wall and lights a cigarette with a Kalashnikov. Putin isn’t known to smoke. “I know why you are here and I mean to help you,” Putin says to his guests and shows them a parody version of “Hedgehog in the Fog,” a world-famous Soviet cartoon from 1975.

And while it isn’t the first time that Putin has appeared in a U.S. cartoon, the “Family Guy” portrayal will be one of the few that makes it onto Russian screens.

“South Park,” another ribald U.S. comedy, aired an episode in 2005 depicting Putin, then president, as a greedy and desperate leader. But when the show appeared in July on 2x2, the scene mocking Putin was absent. The country’s broadcast regulator, the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, said at the time that it knew nothing about the incident, and 2x2 declined to comment on why the clip was missing. Russian MTV had previously shown the episode with Putin. In August, a Moscow court threw out extremism charges against 2x2 for airing a different episode of “South Park.”