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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moving Together Accuses Sorokin of Writing Porn

The pro-Kremlin Moving Together youth movement, known for its public campaigns to protect Russian literature, has mounted a drive against well-known author Vladimir Sorokin for publishing what it says is pornographic material.

Sorokin is a controversial but widely respected modernist author known for liberally using profanity and sexual descriptions in his writings. The Bolshoi Theater signed him up last month to write a libretto for a new opera.

Sorokin's publisher Mikhail Kotomin said Thursday that an indignant reader of Sorokin's novel "Goluboye Salo," or "Blue Lard," and a supporter of Moving Together had filed a complaint with the police asking that he be charged with distributing pornography.

"There are several places in the novel where indecent language is used, but this is not pornography," Sorokin said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

Kotomin said police investigators leafed through the pages of Sorokin's novel and were puzzled when they did not find any pornographic photographs. "I understood that they had expected to find some pictures," he said.

He said he was ready to defend Sorokin in court if necessary and take part in a public discussion about what should be considered pornography in literature. He doubted that Moving Together would want to be involved in a court case.

An investigator with the Zamoskvorechye district police said a group of experts will read the book and look for evidence of pornography before the police decide whether to open a case against Sorokin or his publisher.

Moving Together activists gathered outside the Culture Ministry on Thursday demanding that Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi come out and share his views on Sorokin's works.

The movement's leader Vasily Yakimenko said his main concern is that Sorokin is turning from a marginal author into a contemporary classic.

Moving Together handed passers-by compiled excerpts from Sorokin's works that it considered the most provocative.