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Russian Online LGBT Teenager Groups Banned

The Russian media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, has added five online lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups to a list of entities whose information people are banned from accessing.

Roskomnadzor said on September 21 that the groups -- all of which are registered on Russia's VKontakte social network -- had been banned by a district court in the southwestern city of Barnaul.

The court ruling said the five groups have to be banned as they contain "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors."

The groups' administrators have been ordered to delete the groups' information from the social network within three days.

The banned groups include prominent Deti-404 (Children-404) organized by journalist Yelena Klimova.

Klimova's group has provided LGBT teenagers with psychological counseling.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial law banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors" in 2013.

The bill has been harshly criticized by local and international LGBT rights groups and several Western governments.

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