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JK Rowling hits back at Vladimir Putin after he drags her into row over ‘cancelling Russian culture’

JK Rowling has responded to Vladimir Putin after the Russian president cited the Harry Potter author during a rant about cancel culture.

She said that “critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians”.

Rowling also referenced an article about jailed anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, and hit out at the Russian president for “jailing and poisoning critics”.

Earlier, he said the author was cancelled “just because she didn’t satisfy the demands of gender rights”.

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

Ukraine news live: Moscow hints it may have given up on full takeover

During a televised meeting with cultural figures, the leader also claimed there was a campaign against Russian composers including Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff.

He appeared to be referring in part to the cancellation of events involving Russian music in some Western countries since his invasion of Ukraine.

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

“They are banning Russian writers and books.”

He also likened “cancel culture” to Nazis trying to burn books in the 1930s.

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

“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.”

Putin’s comments follow a JK Rowling long essay in which she said she was concerned about “the new trans activism… pushing to erode the legal definition of sex and replace it with gender“.

She recently accused Sir Keir Starmer of misrepresenting equalities law – after the Labour leader said that according to statute “trans women are women”.

Part of a backlash against her views has included a secondary school dropping her name as a title for one of its houses over her “comments and viewpoints surrounding trans people”.

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