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    Communists seek damages over color version of Soviet spy series

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    ST. PETERSBURG, May 5, (RIA Novosti) - A communist group in St. Petersburg is to seek some $30 million in compensation for moral damages caused by the color reissue of a legendary Soviet spy series.

    The Communists of Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, a separate organization from the much larger Communist Party, said in a statement that the decision to release a specially-colorized version of the 1973 black-and-white film Seventeen Moments of Spring had offended their "sense of patriotism."

    The TV mini-series tells the story of a Soviet spy, played by Vyacheslav Tikhonov, in Germany towards the end of WWII. The state-run TV channel broadcast the first of its 12 episodes on May 4, in honor of the May 9 Victory Day national holiday.

    The group's statement also said that as a result of the reissue, "TV viewers and taxpayers...are deprived of access to the original version of Seventeen Moments of Spring, and have been forced to purchase licensed DVDs with the original black-and-white film for traditional viewing on the eve of Victory Day."

    They also said that the decision to screen a color version could have an adverse effect on social morality and the development of minors.

    The communist group earlier made headlines in Russia by criticizing soccer star Andrei Arshavin for "displaying for sale his body for many months in front of covetous Western clubs."

    It also accused the latest Bond girl, Ukrainian Olga Kurylenko, of a "moral and intellectual betrayal" in starring in a movie about the "enemy of the Soviet people.

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