Kremlin Bans Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde, Stephen King And More Over Alleged LGBTQ+ Propaganda

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Moscow authorities have stirred controversy by banning the sale of 252 books under the guise of combating LGBTQ+ propaganda.

Among the blacklisted titles are works by revered authors spanning generations, including Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde, Haruki Murakami, and Stephen King.

The shocking revelation, initially reported by journalist Alexander Plyushchev and later confirmed by Russian online book retailers, has sparked outrage and condemnation both domestically and internationally. The move underscores the tightening grip of censorship and repression under the Kremlin‘s rule.

The banned books, ranging from classic literature to contemporary bestsellers, have fallen victim to a law enacted in December 2022, following the passage of legislation prohibiting the dissemination of LGBTQ+ propaganda. Notably, the compilation of the blacklist was spearheaded by the Russian Association of Internet Trade Companies.

Among the forbidden works are Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Haruki Murakami’s “Norwegian Wood,” and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Netochka Nezvanova.” Even the renowned horror novel “It” by Stephen King and Vladimir Sorokin’s “Наследие” have been deemed offensive by Russian authorities.

The draconian measure reflects a broader crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in Russia, exemplified by President Vladimir Putin’s signing of a law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations, pedophilia, and gender reassignment across various media platforms.

Furthermore, the law, which extends to all Russians regardless of age, has led to a wave of censorship across cultural and artistic spheres. Libraries and bookstores have begun purging LGBT-themed literature, while online platforms have censored relevant content from films and television series.

In June 2023, Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulatory agency, outlined criteria for identifying “LGBTQ+ propaganda,” effectively institutionalizing censorship measures. This move was followed by the Supreme Court’s designation of the defunct “international LGBTQ+ social movement” as an extremist organization in Russia, further marginalizing LGBTQ+ communities.

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