Russia’s federal healthcare agency has abruptly banned Durex condoms from being sold, accusing their British manufacturer of not following the proper registration procedures. This sounds extremely shady, but also led to an Agence France-Presse headline that we should all applaud forever.

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Russia bans Durex condoms over holes in paperwork,” AFP reports, chortling. The stated reason from Mikhail Murashko, the head of Russia’s federal health care watchdog, is that they are “not registered in the proper manner. The company must observe the law.”

Maybe, but according to this extremely illuminating Reddit thread from unhappy condomless English-speaking people in Russia, the ban has been in place for nearly two weeks and might be a long-planned attempt to raise the country’s birth rate. An August 2015 story quoted a Russian cabinet member saying that a condom ban would make citizens “more disciplined,” as well as “more strict and discriminating in choosing partners, and maybe will do a favor to our society in respect to solving demographic problems.”

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That seems like a terrible way of getting people to have more babies. At the same time last year, Russian officials proposed a ban on foreign X-ray machines and a whole list of other products, to reduce the country’s reliance on mainly Western imports:

The initiative, proposed by the Industry and Trade Ministry, calls for a ban on imported X-ray machines, ultrasound machines, defibrillators, incubators and other medical equipment.

The list of items subject to restriction also includes condoms, bandages, medical masks, crutches, prosthetic devices and orthopedic footwear.

The only one any of us care about is condoms, however; the ban affects all the Durex products you’ve never heard of but are now earnestly contemplating the difference between: Pleasuremax, Classic, Fruity Mix, Extra Safe, Elite, Long Play, XXL, Dual Extase, Sensation, Invisible and Real Feel.

Finally, please consider this ridiculous Russian Durex ad, which compares inferior condoms to petting a kitten in a boxing glove:


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