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Legal campaigning in Russia ends where the anti-Putin rhetoric begins

Meduza

Russia’s media censor says news outlets can’t publish photos of a message that read “Against Putin” written in the snow atop the frozen Neva River in St. Petersburg. Officials say the images qualify as “illegal campaigning.” Roskomnadzor has already forced three media outlets, Business News AgencyRosbalt, and Delovoi Peterburg, to redact their reports on a demonstration carried out on Sunday by supporters of Ksenia Sobchak.

The perpetrators were detained by police and later released without charges, though they will be summoned later for further questioning. Fifteen minutes after officers detained Sobchak’s supporters, a fire truck arrived at the scene and blasted the anti-Putin graffiti from the ice. A few days earlier, apparently without a police response, activists painted a similar note in the Neva ice that read, “For Sobchak!”