Vladimir Putin claims the West is 'trying to cancel' Russia like 'JK Rowling'

Putin likened cancel culture to the Nazis burning books before World War 2

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Russian president Vladimir Putin has accused the West of "trying to cancel" Russia, comparing the treatment of his country to that of Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with officials and cultural workers, including young holders of prizes for cultural achievements, via a video link in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with officials and cultural workers, including young holders of prizes for cultural achievements, via a video link in Moscow.

Mr Putin said: "They have cancelled a children’s writer, Joanne Rowling, because she, the author of the books which spread around the world in hundreds of millions of copies, failed to please the supporters of the so called gender liberties,"

"Today they are trying to cancel a whole thousand-year culture - our people," Mr Putin commented.

"They are banning Russian writers and books."

Mr Putin seemed to be referencing the cancellation of Russian musical performances in some Western nations, following his army's invasion of Ukrainian territory.

He went on: "They are now trying to cancel our country. I'm talking about the progressive discrimination of everything to do with Russia."

Mr Putin then likened "cancel culture" to the Nazis burning books during the Third Reich.

"We remember the footage when they were burning books," he said.

JK Rowling arriving for the opening gala performance of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, at the Palace Theatre in London.
JK Rowling arriving for the opening gala performance of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, at the Palace Theatre in London.

"It is impossible to imagine such a thing in our country and we are insured against this thanks to our culture."

Ms Rowling responded by sharing an article about incarcerated Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Twitter.

She wrote: “Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics.”

The writer also shared the hashtag #IStandWithUkraine.

Rowling said she was personally matching all donations to the Lumos emergency appeal up to £1 million.

Rowling has come in for criticism in the past for views that were perceived by some as transphobic.

She became the target of ire in June 2020 for a Tweet mocking a headline about "people who menstruate."

The Harry Potter author and Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, are at odds over the country's Gender Recognition Reform Bill after it was introduced to Parliament last week.

The bill aims to simplify the means by which a trans person can legally change their gender through obtaining a gender recognition certificate.

The certificate allows a trans person to receive a new birth certificate with their correct gender.