The prosecutor's office in the Far East Russian city of Vladivostok has officially banned a controversial slogan disparaging Prime Minister Vladimir Putin which has appeared on signs held by Communist protesters.
The slogan "Putler Kaput!" -- a play on words combining Putin and Hitler -- was found by the prosecutor's office to be offensive to Putin and has been banned from use at public gatherings and meetings.
Of late, Vladivostok has seen some of Russia's biggest antigovernment protests
over the economy. (Read what Brian Whitmore has to say over at The Power Vertical on whether Russia's social contract is breaking down
Vladivostok Communist Party leader Vladimir Bespalov told RFE/RL that he does not understand the ban, adding that to challenge authorities one must use strong words.
Local Communists have used the signs at their demonstrations since January 31.
Meanwhile, officials at the prosecutor's office in Vladivostok have not excluded the possibility that Communist slogans such as "Down with the Dictatorship of LilliPutians!" and "LilliPutian, Do Not Wake Up Gulliver!" might also be banned.
-- Russian Service