Russia bans 'gay' Putin images

One of many images showing Vladimir Putin as a "gay clown" (supplied)
One of many images showing Vladimir Putin as a "gay clown" (supplied)

Russia has banned making fun of President Vladimir Putin by portraying him as a "gay clown".

The image in question is believed to be one created in 2013 that became popular after Russia made it a crime to promote "non-traditional sexual relations", reports the Moscow Times and Washington Post.

Other Russian sources have suggested the banned image could in fact be one showing both Mr Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, pictured below.

The confusion stems around the fact the image in question is banned. It is only described in the Russian government's release as showing him "with eyes and lips made up", and captioned with words that imply he has a "nonstandard sexual orientation".

The ban sparked mockery online, with users of web forum Reddit taking to Photoshop to make more images showing Mr Putin as gay.

Putin as the Village People (Reddit/TheBreezes)
Putin as the Village People (Reddit/TheBreezes)
Putin as the Village People (Reddit/BlueMacaw)
Putin as the Village People (Reddit/BlueMacaw)

A spokesperson for Mr Putin told state-run news agency TASS that Mr Putin is "skilled at brushing off vulgarities hurled against him".

"As a person, he might be stung, but as President he is quite resilient," Dmitry Peskov said.

He would not confirm which picture the state had banned.

"I have not seen the documents and I cannot say anything." 

Newshub.