January 13, 2011 / 5:47 PM / 7 years ago

Russian internet game puts Medvedev in firing line

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) - Russian prosecutors requested an inquiry into a telecom website that gives visitors a chance to shoot a cartoon likeness of President Dmitry Medvedev, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The internet banner on the web site of telecom provider AlyansTelekom in Russia’s Far East advertises a promotion plan called “Moscow” with a Medvedev look-alike cartoon popping up from behind the red-brick Kremlin walls.

With a click of the mouse visitors can shoot the cartoon effigy and send up a golden halo around his head.

Senior assistant to the prosecutor of the Primorye province prosecutors’ office Yelena Telegina said the office had already been informed of the website.

“An order was given to the Primorye Police Department by the prosecutor to carry out a corresponding inquiry,” she said.

Pro-government groups have used pictures of Kremlin critics such as Boris Berezovsky for publicity-generating target practice in the past.

A leading politician for the province and ruling “United Russia” member Galust Akhoyan said the use of Medvedev’s likeness in the game was unacceptable.

“Caricatures of politicians in civilized societies — that is business as usual. But to use the head of state as a target, that is extremism,” said Akhoyan.

The computer game also gives internet users a chance to shoot other targets such as a hot air balloon, a ship and a submarine.

Reporting by Aleksei Chernyshov, Writing by Thomas Grove, Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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