A new Russian law banning all curse words from art, film, theatre, music and media has come into effect today in Russia. The Kremlin-backed initiative was given the green light by President Vladimir Putin who is promoting ‘clean traditional’ values. Words like khuy (cock), pizda (cunt), yebat (to fuck) and blyad (whore) which falls into a grouping of slang known as ‘Mat’ is now banned from use in the arts as well as on the street. Violators of the law face fines of between £40 for a private person and £800 for an organisation such as a theatre company, for use. A ban on English loanwords is also part of the crackdown.
The legislation, passed in May, is aimed at films and media which will not be allowed distribution licences if they use profanities. Some of Russia’s highest profile poets like Mikhail Lermontov and Alexander Pushkin are notorious for the use of Mat in their work. Andrei Zvyagintsev’s the director of “Leviathan” the Cannes Film Festival acclaimed art-house flick could now face censorship. This would also effect lyrics performed by bands including the Art-Punk band Pussy Riot. Putin’s ideology aims to set a “national and spiritual identity” for Russia.