- The Washington Times - Friday, April 7, 2017

Russia has banned an image depicting President Vladimir Putin in full face makeup.

The Ministry of Justice added the image — showing Mr. Putin in “painted eyelashes and lips” — to its growing list of banned “extremist materials,” because the image supposedly implies the “nonstandard sexual orientation” of Mr. Putin.

People who distribute or share the image face 15 days in prison or a fine of 3,000 rubles ($53), CNN reported.

Though it’s unclear exactly which image the ministry is referring to, a poster of the Russian president in full face makeup grew to prominence in 2013 during the protests against Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” law, which prohibits the public discussion of gay rights and relationships where children are present.

The ban came as a result of a court verdict last year in Tver. A man named Alexander Tsvetkov was charged with incitement of hatred or enmity for sharing several images on VK, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, CNN reported. One of the images depicted a “man resembling the president of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, wearing face makeup — painted eyelashes and lips.”

Mr. Tsvetkov was convicted and committed to a psychiatric institution, CNN reported. It’s unknown whether he has since been released.

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