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Russia's President Vladimir Putin has cited JK Rowling as proof that the West likes to 'cancel' people, as he claims they are trying to do the same to Russia.
During a bizarre speech Putin used the controversy surrounded the Harry Potter author's views on transgender rights as an example of western 'cancel culture', claiming 'it's impossible to imagine such a thing in our country'.
'They cancelled JK Rowling recently, the children's author,' he said. 'Just because she didn't satisfy the demands of gender rights. They're now trying to cancel our country.'
"It's impossible to imagine such a thing in our country"— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 25, 2022
President Vladimir Putin uses J K Rowling as an example of Western cynicism and "cancel culture", which he says is currently being aimed at Russia.
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During a video conference with officials and cultural representatives, the Russian leader claimed to be speaking out against the 'progressive discrimination against everything to do with Russia'.
As well as appearing to launch a defence of Rowling, Putin also complained that western films have historically failed to mention Russia's involvement in World War Two, saying: 'In Hollywood they made films where the only country that defeated fascists was the United States, and didn't say anything about the Red Army.'
He also said the West had 'cancelled the truth' about who dropped nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, saying that references to the atrocities did not specifically mention the United States, but only 'some abstract allies'.
He went on to allege, without evidence, that western countries were removing the works of classical Russian composers like Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, and banning books by Russian authors, saying the West's attitude towards Russian culture was reminiscent of Nazi book burnings in the 1930s.
By contrast, Putin claimed that in Russia there was 'no room for ethnic intolerance', calling cultural diversity the 'strength and pride' of Russian society.
His comments come as the Kremlin has moved to ban western social media platforms and prevent Russians from accessing western news outlets in an effort to censor information about its war in Ukraine.
New laws in force across the country have also effectively banned Russians from protesting and even referring to what Putin describes as a 'special military operation' in Ukraine as a war. In recent weeks thousands of people have been arrested from attending anti-war protests in dozens of cities, with videos showing people detained by police while carrying blank white placards and signs with asterisks representing the words 'F*** War'.
Rowling has not yet responded on Putin's comments.
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