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Russian Ministry Backtracks On Guideline To 'Avoid Images Of Non-Slavic People'

Russian President Vladimir Putin on a computer screen in an Internet cafe in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on a computer screen in an Internet cafe in Moscow.

Russia's Ministry of Digital Development and Mass Communications has promised to change its controversial instruction to web designers that told them "to avoid images of non-Slavic people" in advertisements and websites for state services.

Ministry officials told RFE/RL on August 26 that a new brand book is under development, emphasizing that the instruction to graphic designers in question was created in 2015 and is outdated.

"We consider the sentences in the [current] brand book incorrect and are currently working on a new guideline. It will appear in the nearest future," the ministry official said.

The controversial instructions that were noticed by Internet users in recent days have caused heated online debate questioning the ministry's competence and stressing that Russia is a federation of many republics, including those with non-Russian or non-Slavic indigenous populations with their own languages and cultures.

Millions of Russian citizens today are natives of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia, the South Caucasus, the Baltics, and Moldova, the opponents of the instructions said online.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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