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Putin Likens Russian TV Shows to 'Not Very Good' Telenovelas

Comparing Russian TV shows with Latin American telenovelas, or soap operas, Putin said the two differed only by virtue of genre.

President Vladimir Putin has conceded that Russian television series are "not very good," in comments made at a forum of the People's Front.

"Right now, television shows — there are some good ones, some bad ones, but on the whole, the level, in my view, is not very good," Putin was cited as saying by the RBC news agency late Tuesday.

His comments came in response to a question from one of the participants of the forum, which was also attended by well-known film director Stanislav Govorukhin.

Comparing Russian TV shows with Latin American telenovelas, or soap operas, Putin said the two differed only by virtue of genre.

"Although [in telenovelas] they always have some terrible, crazy love story, and with us, we have only detective stories. There was the crime story that Stanislav Sergeyevich [Govorukhin] presented us all with — 'The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed.' That show, you know, although the genre is a simple one, was done brilliantly. It was gold for our cinematography," Putin said in comments carried by RBC.

Despite giving Russian shows low marks, Putin also noted some improvements, including a proliferation of programs on history and culture.

"But it's still not enough," he said. "I hope that the selection [TV networks] have to offer our citizens will expand."

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