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by Staff reporter
25 March 2022
Putin uses example of J.K. Rowling as he bemoans the West's 'cancel culture'

Putin uses example of J.K. Rowling as he bemoans the West's 'cancel culture'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has railed against what he called the West’s “cancel culture” in a speech where he cited the case of J.K. Rowling.

Putin bemoaned what he said were Western attempts to “cancel” Russian composers and Russian literature.

His bizarre speech came as an official in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol said 300 people had died during a Russian attack on a theatre last week where women and children were said to be sheltering.

Meanwhile, Moscow said more than 1,300 Russian soldiers have been killed, and 3,825 wounded, since the conflict in Ukraine began.

In a televised address, Putin said: “They cancelled Jo Rowling recently – her books are published all over the world – just because she didn’t satisfy the demands of gender rights.

“They are trying to cancel our country. I’m talking about this progressive discrimination of everything to do with Russia, this trend that’s unfolding in a number of Western states, sometimes with the full encouragement of Western cultures.

“They are now engaging in cancel culture. They are even removing Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich and Rachmaninov from posters. Russian writers and their books are cancelled.”

Since the war began last month, Russia has launched a brutal crackdown on freedom of speech and freedom of the press, threatening journalists with lengthy jail terms for not reporting the Kremlin version of events.

Earlier this week, one of Putin’s fiercest domestic critics, Alexey Navalny, was sentenced to a further nine years in a maximum security penal colony.

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