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Moscow Police Raid Theater Showing Banned Stalin Satire

Kirill Kukhmar / TASS

Police reportedly arrived at a historic movie theater in Moscow on the second screening of “The Death of Stalin” on Friday afternoon after Russia’s Culture Ministry warned it could fine cinemas for showing the banned comedy.

The ministry revoked the screening license of the satirical film about the Soviet dictator’s death two days ahead of its nationwide release this week. The Pioner Cinema was the only cinema in Russia that decided to defy the ministry’s ruling and allow the film’s premiere on Thursday, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Reporters Matthew Bodner and Ola Cichowlas first reported witnessing the arrival of police officers to the movie theater on Friday afternoon.

Bodner later documented a police photographer arriving to “collect evidence” of tickets being sold for “The Death of Stalin.”

Cinemas will face fines for screening “The Death of Stalin” without a distribution license, the Culture Ministry told the RBC business portal on Thursday.

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