While President Trump has called for renewed diplomacy and normalized relations with Russia, Vladimir Putin’s massive nation still has its quirks.
The long and storied history of Russia, while impressive in sheer size and scope, is rife with cultural hiccups. There are the occasional drug epidemics, tacky presidential photo shoots, and government-supported homophobia.
Now, protesters crying out against the latter of those miscues are seemingly being stripped of their right to express themselves.
“Russia has banned a picture depicting President Vladimir Putin in heavy makeup as ‘extremist.’
“Russia’s justice ministry added the image, which depicts the Russian president in lipstick and mascara, to its list of banned extremist material last week.
“The Vladimir-Putin-as-a-gay-clown meme appeared after Russia introduced a controversial ‘gay propaganda’ law in 2013.“The meme produced a host of images, and was even played on by Scottish brewery Brewdog for a special edition beer called ‘Hello my name is Vladimir.’
“According to the description posted on the justice ministry’s register, the ban applies specifically to a picture posted on Vkontakte, a Russian social network, that is intended to represent ‘the supposed nonstandard sexual orientation of the president of the Russian Federation’ and carries the caption: ‘Putin voters… they say there are lots of them, but there aren’t any among the people I know.’”
The concept or normalizing relations with Russia is a completely wonderful idea from a business standpoint, we may wish to keep our eye on their human rights record before we invite them over for dinner.