Russian Federation bans picture of Vladimir Putin as a gay clown

After Syria strikes, US and Russia spiral into confrontation

Russian President Vladimir Putin as a gay clown.

Item 4071 of 4074 on the country's index of extremist materials is a picture of a Putin-like individuals "with eyes and lips made up".

A picture that depicts President Vladimir Putin as a gay clown has been banned in Russian Federation.

But the picture was described last week on the Russian government's list of things that constitute "extremism".

Another of Tsvetkov's images banned by the court showed Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Nazi uniforms, as well as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.

A year later, numerous images he shared were added to the government's thousands-strong blacklist of "extremist materials" - with the potentially gay clown listed right above a picture of Putin and Medvedev as Nazi soldiers.

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The image, which depicts Putin's face with a heavy coating of blush, eyeshadow and lipstick, is frequently used by his critics to drag him.

Tsvetkov was also charged in connection with other images, including openly racist and anti-immigrant ones, posted on his Vkontakte account, which was later suspended.

One, in which Putin's face is white in front of a backdrop of a rainbow, became popular four years ago, after Russian Federation made it illegal to "propagandise" to children about "nontraditional sexual relations" and gay rights protesters were beaten and arrested.

According to The Moscow Times, the ban was issued by a regional court on May 11, 2016 after a man named A. V. Tsvetkov posted several photoshopped images of Putin on the Russian social media network Vkontakte between June 2013 and October 2014.

Rights watchdogs say the law has bolstered a sense of impunity among right-wing groups who carry out acts of violence against LGBT people.

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