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Russian censors remove Putin from Fargo episodes

Russian censors remove Putin from Fargo episodes
Still from Fargo Season Three, Episode Two, "The Principle of Restricted Choice", 2017, FX/Calgary

15 May 2017

American comedy-crime drama Fargo has a keen audience in Russia. The dubbed Russian version of the show isn’t always entirely true to the original, however, thanks to some careful editing.

According to Riga-based news site Meduza, two recent episodes of Fargo broadcast on state-owned channel Perviy Kanal were edited to remove unfavourable references to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“[...] you can still find some relative stability in the brutal nation states: North Korea, Putin’s done some great things with Russia. You just have to know which palms to grease,” character V.M. Varga says in the second episode of Fargo’s third season. In the Russian version of the episode, however, any reference to Russia and Mr Putin disappear.

In a similar vein, Perviy Kanal’s version of the fourth episode of the same season saw an incontrovertibly unflattering reference to Mr Putin, relating to the leader’s use of “nepravda” (untruth) as a political weapon, removed from the dialogue.

“When Putin was a boy, he already knew he wanted to be FSB. [...] But there is also ‘nepravda’ — untruth. And this is the weapon the leader uses. Because he knows what they don’t. The truth is whatever he says it is,” Fargo character Yuri Gurka says in the original episode.

The Russian version’s revisions not only get rid of any comment on Mr Putin, but also change the meaning of the character’s speech altogether: “But there’s also nepravda — lies. And this is a weapon, because someone knows, and you don’t. Truth is only what exists in reality.”

The Moscow-based studio behind the dubbing, A B Video, declined to comment and asked that all questions be directed to Perviy Kanal.

Source: The Moscow Times