Russian Lawmaker is Putin's Conservative Champion

Russian Lawmaker is Putin
# 10 August 2013 00:50 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. She has the sober demeanor and tightly wound bun of a boarding school headmistress. And she is Russian President Vladimir Putin's new morality crusader, spearheading efforts to curb gay rights, punish online cursing and impose a tax on divorce, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

Yelena Mizulina, a member of parliament’s lower house, has used her position as the head of the Committee on Family, Women and Children to author increasingly conservative laws, including a ban on so-called homosexual propaganda that went into force last month.

Her pearls, bland blazers and matronly mien belie a fierce fighter who is ready to take her loudest critics to court. In turn, they have labeled her the "Inquisitor" and ridiculed her online. One recent blog posting shows her gritting her teeth with the speech bubble: "You will behave yourself while on My Internet."

While the morality enforcer's policies have drawn the criticism of Western activists and liberal Russians, they strike a chord with a socially conservative Russian majority that is Putin's support base.