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Russia's Food Ban: What's 'Strategically Important' About French Cheese? - by Brian Whitmore

One face of Vladimir Putin's brave new Russia is a man called Nikolai.

We don't know his last name, but we know he lives in Vladivostok. And we know that after having a few drinks on the evening of August 16, he called the cops to rat on his neighbors for cooking illegally imported goose meat.

“I served in the army and I understand the situation like this: We have our superiors and they give orders that we must carry out, meaning there is the law and we must obey it,” Nikolai said, according to Russian media reports.

If it becomes law, the new classification will mean those caught importing banned fruits, vegetables, meat, and poultry can face up to seven years in prison. French cheese is apparently now just as dangerous to the security of the state as polonium, uranium, assault weapons, and dirty bombs.

And speaking of cheese, the Interior Ministry this week released footage of a bust of what it called a “major cheese-smuggling ring.” Some 470 tons of forbidden cheese was found and six members of the alleged cheese mafia were arrested.

Read more: Russia's Food Ban: What's 'Strategically Important' About French Cheese? - The Atlantic

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