Zelensky's TV show too provocative for Russia?

In a surprise move, Russian TV channel TNT included the Ukrainian comedy series 'Servant of the People' in its programme. In the show, current Ukrainian President Zelensky plays a thoroughly honourable Ukrainian president. After the first episode, however, the broadcaster announced that the series would be pulled from its programme and only available for streaming. Russian commentators are having a field day.

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Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

No one serves the people here

The series clearly has no place in Russian living rooms, the blog SerpomPo writes sarcastically in a post republished by Echo of Moscow:

“As a political idea, the propaganda potential of a simple guy who suddenly becomes head of state and replaces the non-interchangeable leader is dangerous, almost explosive for Russia. ... 'Servants of the People' are not welcome in the Russian state. Russian rulers have a different concept of power. In Russia, the people exist to serve the powers that be, not the other way round. More fitting would be a series called 'Servants of Power' about a humble, orthodox hero who's willing to work, fight, and kowtow for the fat rulers his whole life long and thank them for it to boot.”

Novaya Gazeta (RU) /

Now the viewers' curiosity is really piqued

The controversy will only make the series even more popular, Novaya Gazeta suspects:

“What a spectacle. ... First of all the 'Servant of the People' is included in the programme in a hectic manoeuvre, and then he's dismissed in an unprecedented rush. ... There's a social phenomenon known as the 'Streisand effect', when an attempt to block information or contents from being publicly accessible only makes people want to see them all the more. ... There was probably a misunderstanding. And then once people realised what was going on they panicked: this is a direct attack on the sacred state power!”