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Putin opposes censorship of rap music

The head of state nonetheless disapproved of the use of profanities and encouraging the use of drugs in this genre

MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. Arresting rappers and banning their concerts will fail to bring about any positive result, but four-letter words and profanity in their creative work should not be encouraged, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at an annual news conference on Thursday.

"As for detaining rappers, I agree with you. It should not be done. It will lead nowhere, it’s the opposite outcome of what’s expected. Nothing good will come of it. At the same time, there is nothing good in the fact that, as you've said, they use four-letter words in their songs, but let them sing," Putin said.

Along with this, Putin pointed out that the propaganda of drugs and suicides must not be encouraged.

"Nor must this be encouraged, nor should we watch this indifferently," he said. "Another thing is that we should counteract those tendencies in some other ways."

Putin added that art must not pander to sinister interests.

"I’ve recently been at a birthday party of [conductor] Yuri Temirkanov who had turned 80. He said a simple but right thing that art does not exist to pander to sinister interests and sordid motives, to a low profile of culture. Culture exists to elevate this level," he said.

In recent weeks, some performances were cancelled in Russian regions, including those of rappers Husky, Eljay and the IC3PEAK and Friendzone bands. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said that the Kremlin "is following closely the situation" around cancellation of the concerts. On December 7, Sergei Kiriyenko, first deputy chief of the presidential staff, said those bans were a stupid thing and advised to master "a skill for handling modern youth culture."

On December 11, cancellations of rap concerts were discussed at Putin’s meeting with members of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights. As the Russian human rights ombudswoman, Tatiana Moskalkova, said Putin asked to "clarify the causes" of this situation.