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A cartoon sketch of Russian leaders Dmitriy Medvedev and Vladimir Putin was shown for the second year in a row on New Year's Eve on state-controlled Channel One TV in the early hours of 1 January. A similar sketch the previous year had caused a stir because satirical programmes mocking Russian leaders had practically been banned since Putin had come to power in 2000.
As last year, the three-and-a-half minute cartoon was from the series "Animated Personalities" (Russian: Mult Lichnosti, a play on kult lichnosti, "personality cult"). It was shown later than last year, at around 45 minutes after midnight, in "Olivier Show" (reference to Olivier salad, or Russian salad), a pre-recorded New Year's Eve variety show. Other political "animated personalities" had appeared throughout the six-hour programme (see separate report).
Cartoon figures of President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin were shown dancing in Red Square lit by New Year fireworks, singing a ditty in a popular Russian folk style. Like the previous year's cartoon, Medvedev was depicted playing an accordion …