RUSSIA: Justice Ministry Bans Putin-In-Makeup Image

The Moscow Times reports:

Russia has banned an image showing Vladimir Putin in heavy makeup. In the photograph, Putin has red lips and painted eyelashes, and a suggestive caption reads, “They say there are many of them, but there aren’t any among the people I know.”

Last week, the Justice Ministry formally added the image described above to its ever-expanding index of banned extremist materials. Officials have not provided a copy of the image, but it likely resembles the photo at the top of this story. However it looks, the Putin photo occupies the 4,071th spot on a list that’s now 4,074 entries long.

The Justice Ministry acted in response to a verdict last year by the Central Regional Court of Tver, which on May 11, 2016, banned more than a dozen pictures uploaded to the social network Vkontakte by a man named A. V. Tsvetkov. According to the case materials, he shared these photos between June 2013 and October 2014.

Court records say the image showing Putin in makeup “hints at the Russian president’s allegedly nonstandard sexual orientation.” The court also banned another image Tsvetkov uploaded to Vkontakte depicting Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Nazi uniforms, alongside the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.

Tsvetkov also allegedly uploaded anti-Semitic and anti-Asian images that violate Russia’s hate speech laws. He was ordered to “compulsory psychiatric care.”