Please read this piece by my colleague Paul Roderick Gregory in The Hill
Dictators fear being ridiculed with humor. Jokes about Stalin were punished by prison or death. In China, a TV anchor was threatened for jokes mocking Mao Zedong. In Venezuela, the Maduro government counts anti-Chavismo satire as punishable by censorship, cancellation or even jail.
In Russia, Putin has signed a law that imposes fines and jail for online material that disrespects the state, the constitution and bodies exercising state power.
A popular Russian joke goes: “If you criticize the authorities, you’ll be prosecuted under the law against insulting officials. If you praise the authorities, you’ll be prosecuted under the law against fake news.”
The new president of Ukraine, comedian and TV star Volodymyr Zelensky, as a graduate of improvisational comedy, understands the power of lampooning political opponents. This skill earned him an unlikely landslide victory in the crowded Ukrainian presidential race.