Vladimir Putin decries ‘cancelling’ of JK Rowling in ‘book burning’ rant

Headshots of Vladimir Putin and JK Rowling

Vladimir Putin has compared the so-called “cancelling” of JK Rowling as akin to Nazis burning books in the 1930s.

Putin cited Rowling during a rant claiming that the West is trying to “cancel” Russia as his troops continue to wreak devastation on Ukraine.

In dubbed footage broadcast by Sky News on Friday (25 March), Putin claimed that the West seeks to “cancel, cynically, the truth”.

“They cancelled JK Rowling, the children’s author recently,” Putin continued. “Her books are published all over the world. Just because she didn’t satisfy the demands of gender rights”.

“They are now trying to cancel our country. I’m talking about the progressive discrimination of everything to do with Russia.”

“We remember the footage when they were burning books,” Putin added of the “trend” of “engaging in cancel culture”.

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

“And it’s inseparable for us from our motherland, from Russia, where there is no place for ethnic intolerance, where for centuries representatives from dozens of ethnic groups have been living together and cultural diversity is the pride of our society.”

Earlier this month, Sergey Naryshkin, director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, described Russia as a victim of “cancel culture” following global sanctions levied against it.

However it is Russia that seeks to silence and obfuscate. The Kremlin has made it illegal for Russians to spread information about the war that goes against its own propaganda. State military outlets refer to the invasion as a “special military operation” rather than a war.

Putin has previously used his public speeches to take aim at trans rights. For his end-of-year address last year, he compared trans people to “strains” of infectious diseases that we “can’t escape” from.

Elsewhere, JK Rowling’s controversial views on trans rights have been thrust back into international headlines in recent weeks.

The author logged into her Twitter account earlier this month to claim that “innumerable gay people” share the view that trans rights are “undermining” women’s rights.

She also gave her “big love” to anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-abortion Catholic activist Caroline Farrow.