Lionsgate's Hellboy made a sly reference to Baba Yaga's history as a threat to the world when the titular paranormal investigator revealed she had previously tried to raise the spirit of Russian dictator Josef Stalin back from the dead.
However, the reference was removed in the Russian version of the film. According to the BBC, the Russian release of Hellboy censored the reference to Stalin. The audio was bleeped out, and the subtitles instead indicated that Baba Yaga had previously tried to raise the spirit of German despot Adolf Hitler instead.
"Apparently, in Russia, Stalin's name cannot be taken in vain," a Russian social media user Tweeted in response, while another wrote, "It's just that, I am sure, Germans would not change Hitler's name to Stalin."
Another minor edit came in the form of censoring a Russian curse word spoken by noted Russian mystic Grigory Rasputin, who made a brief appearance in the film during a flashback to the origins of the demonic hero. The rest of the curse words featured in the film were left intact.
In theaters nationwide, director Neil Marshall’s Hellboy stars David Harbour as Hellboy, Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm, Milla Jovovich as Nimue, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, Penelope Mitchell as Ganeida and Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio.
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