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A woman holds a poster depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin during a protest in front of the Russian embassy in Madrid, Spain Friday Aug. 23, 2013 against Russia's new law on gays. Protesters, called for the Winter 2014 Olympic Games to be taken away from Sochi, Russia, because of a new Russian law that bans "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" and imposes fines on those holding gay pride rallies.(AP Photo/Paul White)

It's illegal in Russia to share photos of Putin that depict him as gay. Like these.


Russian authorities banned a photo of President Vladimir Putin that depicts him wearing heavy makeup. 

The ban, announced Wednesday, doesn't specify which photo that is, The Washington Post reports. This may make the ban hard to enforce, since it turns out there are lots of photos of Putin in full makeup.

The only specification is that it shows Putin "with eyes and lips made up" suggesting "the supposed non-standard sexual orientation of the president of the Russian Federation."

Russia news sites are split as to what the photo could be. Here's The Moscow Times' guess.

Here's another from Gordonuna, featuring Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

There are more options, many originating from protests against Russia's strict laws against pro-LGBT messaging and other   LGBT crackdowns.

As you might imagine, LGBT groups weren't exactly fazed by the ban.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin hadn't even seen the image, but insisted he was "quite resilient to these vulgarities."

The ban stems from a 2016 court case involving A.V. Tsvetkov, who uploaded the photo alongside racist and xenophobic images to the social media site Vkontakte. He was sentenced to "compulsory psychiatric care," The Moscow Times reports.

The banned photo is the 4,071th item on the list of banned "extremist materials." There are 4,074 items total.

It's far from Russia's only crackdown on free speech. In 2015, Russian police started shutting down any site critical of Putin.

In 2016, a single Russian mother was sentenced for community service for reposting a cartoon of Putin with a knife in hand, looking at a map, United Press International reports.

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