Putin attacks ‘so-called tolerance’

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended conservative values, referring indirectly to his government’s anti-gay stance as he criticised the West for treating “good and evil” equally.

Russia has faced Western criticism over a law banning “propaganda of non-traditional relations”, which gay rights groups say has given a green light to harassment and intimidation. The law has prompted activists across the world to demand a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

In his 70-minute televised state-of-the nation address from an ornate Kremlin hall, Mr Putin pledged to defend traditional family values, which he said were the foundation of Russia’s greatness and a bulwark against “so-called tolerance – genderless and infertile”.

He lamented the “review of norms of morality” going on in many other countries.