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Russia bans swear words in art, films

A building of the Bolshoi Theatre is seen in Moscow on October 28, 2011A hugely controversial Russian law banning curse words in films, theatre, the media and arts came into force on Tuesday, part of a Kremlin-backed drive to play up traditional values and root out swearing. The legislation, wich was signed off by President Vladimir Putin in May, imposes hefty fines on offenders — up to 2,500 rubles ($72) for individuals and up to 50,000 rubles ($1,460) for businesses. The legislation does not spell out what constitutes profanity but the law is widely seen to be targeting Russia’s hugely potent lingua franca of obscenities known as “mat”. Many ridiculed the legislation, saying efforts to outlaw what essentially is an inalienable part of Russia’s culture will fail.

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