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Tolstoy, Pushkin, and Marshak briefly labeled ‘foreign agents’ on major Russian bookseller’s website

Multiple Russian writers, including Leo Tolstoy, Samuil Marshak, and Alexander Pushkin, were reportedly labeled as “foreign agents” on the website of Labyrinth, one of Russia’s largest online bookstores, on Friday.

According to BBC News Russian, a Labyrinth employee said the labels were due to a technical error. They’ve since disappeared.

In December 2022, after Russia's new ban on “LGBTQ+ propaganda” and new legislation on “foreign agents” first went into effect, some Russian bookstores began applying “foreign agent” labels to physical books whose authors had not actually been given that designation. Other bookstores, including Labyrinth, began removing books that they feared might contain illegal “LGBTQ+ propaganda” from circulation.

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