Police seized a painting of Russia's president and prime minister in women's underwear from a gallery in St. Petersburg late on Monday (August 26), saying the satirical display had broken unspecified laws.

The officers also removed a picture of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, his torso covered in tattoos, and two others poking fun at lawmakers who have backed legislation banning so-called gay propaganda, gallery staff said.

The gallery was closed after paintings were taken away.

The police service said it had taken paintings from the "Museum of Power" gallery - based in two rooms of a flat - after receiving reports they were illegal.

It gave no further detail but Russia does have a law against insulting authorities - an offence that carries a maximum one-year prison term.

One painting showed president Vladimir Putin wearing a tight-fitting slip and brushing the hair of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is wearing knickers and a bra.

St Petersburg deputy Vitaly Mironov, whose face was combined with the gay rights movement's rainbow flag in one of the paintings, said the images were inappropriate and "of a distinctly pornographic character".

Gallery owner Alexander Donskoy said the officers had also shut down his establishment and have provided him no explanation for the removal of paintings from the exhibition, titled 'Leaders'.

Presented by Adam Justice

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