Vladimir Putin's Russia has seen a good deal of ominous levels of overreaching censorship and oppression from its government - cracking down on LGBTQ rights, sabotaging independent journalists and dissidents, and censoring art to an extreme degree. But the latest news out of Russia is both worrying in the degree of silencing freedom of speech and also hilarious in how utterly petty and pathetic it reveals Putin truly is:

Russia is banning all images of Putin that they feel portray him as "a gay clown."

Specifically, images of Putin that put him in a lot of makeup and LGBTQ-inspired coloring (typically a rainbow-theme). The punishment for the crime of posting such an image online or being caught with one at a protest is excessive: "compulsory psychiatric care." In other words, they'll throw you in an asylum for as long as they want.

Per this excellent write-up by the Washington Post, the law states:

Item 4071: a picture of a Putin-like person "with eyes and lips made up," captioned with an implicit anti-gay slur, implying "the supposed nonstandard sexual orientation of the president of the Russian Federation."

Apparently, no one is QUITE sure exactly what specific photo is being referred to by the law, although different journalist outlets have different theories.

In the meantime, NO ONE LOOK AT THESE PHOTOS! The Russian government would be VERY displeased if they found out you were looking at them!


Just as a reminder - there's nothing about wearing makeup that indicates you're gay, or a clown for that matter. 


We actually think this makeup makes Vladimir look nice. The blush really brings out his cheekbones.


He looks a little grey and drab a lot of the time - adding some colors to his ensemble really spices things up.

Russia Has Banned Photoshopping Putin as a

Clowns can be gay without having rainbow colors or more feminine lipstick on, ya know. There's no actual correlation between makeup and sexuality.


Really, Mr. Putin should feel honored so many people want to make him look prettier on the outside, since he's such an ugly, putrid monster on the inside.

In the meantime, remember:

  • And DEFINITELY do not make a bunch of new photos of Vladimir Putin in colorful makeup!