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Russian TV series on child custody clashes

Clashes between Finnish and Russian spouses over child care and child custody got a new twist with the start of a drama series on Russia's state-run TV1 that presents an image of the Finns as rude, sullen racists.

Ruutukaappaus venäjän lapsikaappausohjelmasta. Venäjän valtiollinen 1-kanava näytti keskiviikkona ensimmäinen jakson neliosaisesta sarjasta, joka kuvaa venäläisnaisen ja suomalaismiehen lapsen huoltajuustaistoa. Image: Lehtikuva

The plot of the series "To the Edge of the World" (Na Krai Sveta) is reminiscent of several widely-reported, real-life cases in which tensions in a mixed marriage have led to bitter child custody battles.

The drama revolves around a Russian-Finnish marriage that runs aground over cultural differences. The Russian wife, Irina, loses custody rights to their joint child, Anna, and decides to kidnap her and return to Russia. He husband follows to hunt the child down.

Partly filmed in Finland last year, the series presents a stereotypical image of the Finns, starting with a Finnish mother-in-law who gives her Russian daughter-in-law a grave plot as a birthday present.

The 8-part drama depicts all of the Finnish characters as rude, sullen and unprincipled.

Four of the actors in the series are Finns.

The series is not being broadcast in a prime-time slot, but rather during mid-day when the bulk of the audience consists of the elderly and housewives.