Russia: Children's toilet TV show drawn into Ukraine-EU row

As seen by...
...BBC Monitoring's Stephen Ennis

image captionKajs (centre) and Biss (right) with a musical bottom from the Rump Orchestra

Russian state TV has come up with an unusual weapon in its propaganda offensive against supporters of Ukraine's integration with the EU - a Swedish TV programme designed to help children understand their bodily functions.

In the middle of a report on 1 December about the background to the clashes in Kiev over the issue of Ukraine's relationship with the EU, viewers of official Russian state TV channel Rossiya 1 bizarrely found themselves watching clips from the Swedish children's series Biss och Kajs - a play on the Swedish words for "wee-wee" and "poo-poo".

For Rossiya 1 anchor Dmitriy Kiselev, it exemplifies the kind of Western decadence that awaits Ukraine if it decides to join the EU and turn its back on Russia.

The TV series tells children about their various bodily functions with the help of two characters, Biss and Kajs. It livens up the physiological explanations with musical numbers from the Rump Orchestra (bottoms dressed in hats, glasses and ties) and what Kiselev calls "singing genitalia".

A respectful article in pro-Kremlin tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda recently praised it for helping spare children some of the "suffering connected with various physical manifestations".

But Kiselev says in Sweden, there has been a "sharp rise in child abortions, early sex is the norm - from the age of nine, and it is not surprising that child impotence starts at 12. There you have European values in all their glory."

Kiselev has become notorious in recent months for his attacks on homosexuals, and his likening of enemies of the Kremlin both in Russia and abroad to the Nazis. He is also one of several Rossiya 1 presenters who regularly suggest that if Ukraine opts to ally itself with the West it will find itself in some sort of "Euro-Sodom".

Writing on Facebook, TV critic Arina Borodina has described his weekly homilies as "schizophrenic streams of consciousness".

But his latest outpouring has still managed to raise some eyebrows. "Kiselev is talking about a stream of urine, poo-poo and genitalia. I'm lost for words," writes one Twitter user. Others ask: "Has Kiselev undergone a course of hypnosis?"

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