Banned picture of Russian President: Suggests Putin is gay

The image's addition to the list of banned materials, which has more than 4,000 entries, comes almost a year after a Russian court punished a man for posting a handful of controversial images to VKontakte, a Russian social network.

Also among them is now an image of president Vladimir Putin with make-up on his face.

At the time, Putin said was not an attack on homosexuality, which is legal in Russian Federation, but an attempt to protect children. And according to Russian law, sharing extremist materials, now 4,074 entries long, is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Some show him together with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is also shown wearing makeup.

The move was a response to a May 2016 court ruling that banned more than a dozen images uploaded to a social networking site by a man named A.V. Tsvetkov, the Moscow Times reported.

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It is not clear exactly which image has been banned but it is believed to be one similar to one used on signs during protests against Russia's anti-gay laws, the Guardian reports.

'Painted eyelashes and lips, which, according to the author / authors of the poster, should serve as a hint of allegedly non-standard sexual orientation of the Russian president'. It's thus illegal to share such photos on social media.

The picture came to the fore in 2013 when Putin passed a law stopping the teaching of "non-traditional sexual relations" to children. Tsevtkov, who was not allowed to attend his own trial, was convicted of violating Russia's highly ironic ban on hate speech past year, and ordered to receive compulsory psychiatric care. By 2015, the government began cracking down on websites of Putin critics, restricting even anonymous blogs.

  • Adam Floyd