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Vladivostok Officials Ban 'Putler Kaput' Slogan

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

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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