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"There's no problem with freedom of speech in Russia" - says the Russian Minister of Culture

1) See this very short interview with the Minister of Culture in Russia, Vladimir Medinsky, about the situation for arts and artists in Russia:

- Q: As the Cultural Minister, how would you describe the current situation for arts and artists in Russia today?
- A: For what?

- Q: The current situation for arts and artists in Russia today?
- A: [Pauses.] Is there any problem with art and artists? [Answers his own question.] Well, the situation is wonderful, then.

- Q: Well, internationally you are seen as a bit strict on freedom of speech, for example.
- A: [Makes a face like he has no idea what the interviewer is talking about.] You're the first man who talks to me about it. There's no problem with freedom of speech in Russia, you know. [Laughs.] Thank you. [Ends the conversation and walks off.]

2) Here are 15 reasons why you must boycott the Olympic Games in Sochi, and how Russia is a very authoritarian regime.

And if you need to watch the games, AT LEAST make sure you don't provide ratings through your viewing.

If your viewing is registered in any way, you are actually a part of the problem - you are helping Russia commit violations on human rights through the sanctioning of the International Olympic Committee.

If these games receive the lowest ratings ever for any Olympic Games, the IOC cannot give future games to regimes like Russia again. You can make this happen by officially boycotting the games, and asking everyone you know to do the same.

3) The clip above is from the cultural program "Nasjonalgalleriet" broadcast 3/2-2014 on NRK, just before the Winter Olympic Games started in Sochi.

The program took a closer look at how art is doing in a authoritarian state like Russia, and how censorship is affecting free speech - and artists.

You can watch the whole program here. Some of it is in Norwegian, other parts in English.