A screen capture from the Rodina commercial (RFE/RL)
18 November 2005 -- The French Embassy in Moscow today protested a new version of an advertisement by a Russian nationalist party that makes indirect reference to recent French riots.
The original Rodina party commercial for Moscow city local elections depicted a group of young people from the Caucasus throwing watermelon rinds on the ground in the path of a blond Russian mother pushing a baby pram.
The party leader, Dmitrii Rogozin, and a party candidate then demand that everyone speak Russian and "clean the filth out of our city".
The commercial sparked charges of racism, and the national election commission has asked prosecutors to determine whether it violated any laws.
The new version introduces the same scene saying it took place in Paris one year ago, with the participants speaking French with Russian voiceovers.
The French Embassy today said the commercial distorts recent events in France and went against the spirit of mutual understanding in French-Russian relations.