Anti-terror cartoons tell Russian children to behave

25th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russia's FSB security service has created an unexpected Internet hit by launching a series of black humour anti-terror cartoons advising children to report suspicious bags and individuals to the police.

"Little boy found a bag in the street, took it and walked on, the bag was ticking and then it stopped," a rhymed voiceover to one clip said. "We won't show you what happened to the boy."

After the demise of the first little boy, the clip shows, and praises, an older boy for reporting the bag to the police.

The animations also advise reporting an unlocked basement that could hide "enemies" and warn against phoning school with a bomb prank. "The boy will get three years, not a moped," the voiceover says matter-of-factly.

A stern instruction to follow police instructions with local security service numbers against a backdrop of a dreary grey FSB building follows every animation.

The five short clips were aired last week on television channel V1 in the southern city of Volgograd and quickly spread all over the Russian Internet.

Some viewers compared them with Soviet propaganda that invited people to spy on their neighbours, others immediately came up with ironic spinoffs.

"Grandmother waited for little girl from Triumfalnaya, stirring polonium in a pot. FSB grandfather got to the little girl first, nailing her to the hardwood floor," one comment said.

The spoof referred to opposition rallies on Triumfalnaya square and the substance that killed former FSB officer turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London.

The clips were created five years ago on a state tender from the FSB and the Krasnoyarsk region administration in Siberia, said Pavel Stabrov, a producer at Studio Gorod which created the series.

"We were asked to create very simple rules of conduct for children," he told AFP, "we chose simple rhymes and simple animation style." The studio however is annoyed that media is calling the FSB as the original authors. "We might sue the media if they don't indicate the right authors," he said.

© 2010 AFP

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