Russia, Europe

As of 2011, Russia has no criminal law directed at LGBT people and has refused to enact legislation to address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Public opinion about LGBT topics and people tends to be negative, although there is a visible LGBT community network, including nightclubs and political organizations. In 2010 anti-gay Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov was replaced by another homophobe Sergey Sobyanin who continues to refuse authorizating gay Pride events. As usual attempts to defy the ban and march in public (in 2011) degenerated into violent clashes with anti-gay protestors and as usual police failed to protect gay rights activists. Several were taken to jail but later released. Nevertheless GayRussia continues to resist against repression and inequality.

 

News & Reports:

 

More Focused Prevention Measures, Improved Access To Treatment Critical To Curb Growing HIV Epidemic In Russian Federation

PLOS Medicine: The expanding epidemic of HIV-1 in the Russian Federation Chris Beyrer, professor at the Center for Public Health and Human Rights in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues “…The continuous growth of the Russian HIV epidemic is a failure of public policy and practice. The… Read more »

Gay fans warned holding hands at Russia World Cup will be dangerous

• Equality campaigner Fare will produce cautionary guide for LGBT fans • Piara Powar: ‘Gay people have a place in Russia which is quite underground’ LGBT fans will be warned about holding hands in public and other outward displays of affection when in Russia for the World Cup next summer. A cautionary guide will be… Read more »

Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law has led to a huge rise in anti-LGBT attacks

Hate crimes against LGBT people have doubled since Russia created a law banning gay “propaganda”. The 2013 legislation, which prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” towards minors, has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights. ? The European judges found that the law “reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia”. The law also… Read more »

Six injured as ‘spy’ attacks Russian LGBT activists

Six LGBT activists have been injured during an alleged ‘acid’ attack in Moscow. The activists had been attending the Fourth LGBTIQ+ Family Conference, a conference for LGBT+ people and academic specialists in the field. The group of activists were leaving the conference when a man threw a liquid at the group and knocked several of… Read more »

1917 Russian Revolution: The gay community’s brief window of freedom

In January 1921 Russian Baltic Fleet sailor Afanasy Shaur organised an extraordinary gay wedding in Petrograd. The guests included 95 former army officers along with members of the lower ranks of both the army and navy, and one woman, dressed in a man’s suit. The city had never seen anything like it. Shaur pulled out… Read more »

Pop star ‘feared dead’ in Chechnya’s anti-gay crackdown, human rights group warns

Members of the LGBT community suggest Zelimkhan Bakayev, who went missing in August, was abducted by authorities A leading Russian human rights group said it has “serious fears” a gay Chechen pop star has been killed in a crackdown on the homosexual community. Zelimkhan Bakayev has not been seen since 8 August when he left… Read more »

LGBT People Under Attack: Raids in Belarus, Murder in Chechnya, Registration of Gays in Central Asia

Singer and Entertainer Zelim Bakaev Apparently Murdered by the Security Services of Chechnyan President’s Security Services The LGBTQI community is under assault in Eastern Europe as well as Central Asia. The most recent crackdown in the region was this past weekend’s raids of nightclubs popular with the LGBT community in Belarus, during which two clubs… Read more »

A man tortured in Chechnya for being gay dares to go public with his story

Moscow — For the first time since gruesome accounts of the systematic detention and torture of gay men began leaking out of Russia’s republic of Chechnya, a young man has gone public with his story. Maxim Lapunov, 30, told reporters on Monday that he was demanding justice from the Russian government for the 12 days… Read more »

For many gay men in conservative Chechnya, living in fear for their lives is commonplace

They call themselves survivors. Two Chechen men who agreed to share their story say they have been forced into hiding and their lives are in danger simply because they are gay. They say they are so afraid, even with a place in a secret safe house outside of Moscow, that they asked ABC News’ “Nightline”… Read more »

Russian government defends ‘gay propaganda’ law after human rights ruling

The Russian government has vowed to appeal against a European Court of Human Rights ruling over its gay ‘propaganda’ law. In a ruling this week, the European court condemned Russia’s 2013 law which bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” towards minors. The law also bans people sharing “distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual… Read more »

Russia’s ‘Gay Propaganda’ Laws Are Illegal, European Court Rules

London — Russia’s prohibition of what it considers the promotion of homosexuality is discriminatory and violates freedom of expression, Europe’s top human rights court ruled on Tuesday, in a strong rejection of laws that rights groups say have been routinely used as cover for abuse and violence. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia shortly after the… Read more »

Germany welcomes gay man who fled Chechnya’s homophobic purge

Germany has welcomed a gay man who fled the purge of LGBT people in Chechnya. In April, Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported on the campaign of homophobic persecution that had been launched in the region, which has autonomy from Russia. The journalists who uncovered the story had been forced into hiding after ‘Jihad’ was declared… Read more »

After Fleeing Bias at Home, Gay Russians Say It Persists in Brooklyn

For many years, Denis Kruglenko treated life as if it were a delicately calibrated performance. A gay man living in Belgorod, Russia, he knew that even appearing to be homosexual could be perilous. He did what he could to conceal his sexual orientation but it never seemed to be enough. Once, he was beaten up… Read more »

Russian Activists Say They’ve Been Told US Visas Are Out Of Reach For Gay Chechens

Around 40 survivors of the crackdown in Chechnya are in hiding in other parts of Russia, but can’t find a safe country to take them in. A Russian LGBT advocacy group says conversations with the US embassy have led it to believe that visas to the United States are out of reach for gay Chechens… Read more »

Hundreds of gay couples are kissing at the Kremlin to protest the gay purge in Chechnya

A kissing campaign for LGBT rights in Chechnya has attracted support from all over the world. Hundreds of gay couples have uploaded photos of themselves kissing and geo-tag themselves as being at the Kremlin in Moscow. Brazilian social justice project [SSEX BBOX] – an abbreviation of ‘Sexuality Outside The Box’ – started the movement on… Read more »

Russian LGBT Network Steps Up Efforts To Get Gay Men Out Of Chechnya

Heard on Morning Edition Police in Chechnya have been reportedly cracking down on gay men. Some have been imprisoned and tortured. David Greene talks to a representative of the Russian LGBT Network, which is helping the men. David Greene, Host: More than a hundred gay men have been rounded up by the police in the… Read more »

Gay teen in Chechnya pushed from 9th floor balcony and killed by his family

The 17-year-old boy was murdered by his uncle after learning of his homosexuality. Russian magazine Snob has reported that a 17-year-old Chechen boy has been pushed from a 9th floor balcony and killed by his uncle, after families are being encouraged to “wash the shame” away from gay relatives. Snob was approached by a gay… Read more »

Chechnya gay rights: Putin backs inquiry into hate crimes

Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed an inquiry into a reported crackdown on gay people in the republic of Chechnya, in the North Caucasus. He said he would personally ask the prosecutor general and the interior minister to check the reports. German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week urged the Russian authorities to help protect gay… Read more »

Chechnya’s police are telling parents to kill their gay sons – or they’ll do it themselves

A horrific new account about the ongoing persecution of gay men in Chechnya has revealed that authorities are asking parents to kill their own gay children. According to one survivor who managed to escape the gay torture camps the country has set up, police are telling parents of gay men to “sort it out” or… Read more »

Russian police round up LGBT activists demonstrating against persecution of gay men in Chechnya

Officers in riot gear forcibly arrest protesters on day of worldwide action against autocratic governmet, poor pay and conditions for workers, and austerity Russian police have detained LGBT activists attempting to raise awareness about the persecution of gay men in Chechnya. The demonstration was held during a May Day march in St Petersburg, with a… Read more »

Russian reporter who exposed Chechen ‘detention and torture of gay men’ goes into hiding as allegations widen

Novaya Gazeta says at least six prisons used in brutal campaign as reporters receive threats One of the Russian reporters who exposed the detention and torture of gay men in Chechnya has gone into hiding amid fears of retribution as the scope of alleged abuse widens. Both the Kremlin and Chechen government have dismissed “provocative”… Read more »

Four more prisons for gay men have been found in Chechnya

Journalists investigating the abuse of gay men in Chechnya have made a gruesome discovery. Respected newspaper Novaya Gazeta originally reported that gay men were being held in two concentration camp style prisons in the region. Reports initially centred on two jails in the villages of Argun and Tsotsi-Yurt. However journalists from the area now say… Read more »

A Gay Russian Violinist Comes Out On Social Media

Artem Kolesov, first violinist of the Chicago-based Yas Quartet, has been outraged by reports of gay oppression in Chechnya. So he decided to publish a video testament on being young, Russian and gay. Artem, 23, has addressed his statement in Russian (with English subtitles) to his homeland, aware that in doing so he could face… Read more »

U.N. Experts Condemn Killing and Torture of Gay Men in Chechnya

London — United Nations experts demanded on Thursday that Chechnya halt the abduction, detention, beating and killing of gay and bisexual men, after weeks of reports about violent repression there. “These are acts of persecution and violence on an unprecedented scale in the region and constitute serious violations of the obligations of the Russian Federation… Read more »

Journalist who broke news of Chechnya’s gay purge forced into hiding after ‘jihad’ death threats

The Russian journalist who broke the news of Chechnya’s homophobic purge has been forced into hiding after the region’s largest mosque declared jihad. Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta broke the news earlier this month that more than 100 gay men have been detained in Chechnya “in connection with their non-traditional sexual orientation”. The disturbing reports,… Read more »

US, UK and and EU leaders condemn homophobic ‘purge’ in Chechnya

International figures have urged the Russian government to intervene over reports that authorities in Chechnya are ‘purging’ the gay community. Early reports emerged last week that gay people are being targeted in the region, which is part of Russia but has substantial autonomy. Russian newspapers and human rights groups report that more than 100 gay… Read more »

Gay men “do not exist”

Chechen spokesman responds to reports that 100 gay men have been rounded up, and some killed “You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic.” That’s what a spokesperson for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said in response to reports that at least 100 suspected gay men had been rounded up… Read more »

Honor killings

How ambitions known LGBT activist in Chechnya awakened terrible ancient custom “Novaya Gazeta” has learned about the mass detentions of Chechen residents on account of their sexual orientation – or suspicion of such. At the moment, we received information about the arrest of more than a hundred men. “Novaya Gazeta” has already known the names… Read more »

Gay men “do not exist”

Chechen spokesman responds to reports that 100 gay men have been rounded up, and some killed “You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic.” That’s what a spokesperson for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said in response to reports that at least 100 suspected gay men had been rounded up… Read more »

Chechen Authorities Arresting and Killing Gay Men, Russian Paper Says

Moscow — First, two television reporters vanished. Then a waiter went missing. Over the past week, men ranging in age from 16 to 50 have disappeared from the streets of Chechnya. On Saturday, a leading Russian opposition newspaper confirmed a story already circulating among human rights activists: The Chechen authorities were arresting and killing gay… Read more »

Russia wages legal & cultural war on LGBTIs

The ‘enemy within’: Victims of Putin’s ‘gay propaganda’ law Although Europe has generally seen some progress in achieving LGBTQI+ rights over the last two decades, the skies have recently been darkening over certain parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where legislation has been introduced with the aim of silencing LGBTQI+ voices. The Russian Federation… Read more »

Russian government warns citizens not to be homophobic while on holiday in Europe

Russia has warned homophobic citizens to refrain from homophobic attacks… while on holiday in other countries. The advice comes from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which has updated its travel advice for visitors hoping to holiday around the world. The guidelines, which are aimed at preventing Russian tourists from causing offence, warns them that they may… Read more »

Europe fines Russia for banning St Petersburg Pride

European Court of Human Rights rules banning Pride marches a violation of human rights The European Court of Human Rights has fined Russia for blocking a Pride march in St Petersburg. LGBTI activists Yuri Gavrikov, Alexander Sheremetyev, Dmitry Milkov, and Maria Yefremenkova were awarded €27,500 damages in total over authorities’ repeated refusal to allow them… Read more »

One country now makes up 64% of all HIV infections in Europe

Cases of HIV in Russia are now the highest in Europe. The country saw some 100,000 new infections recorded in the most recent year’s figures. The trend goes against that seen in the rest of Europe, where new infections have generally stabilised or fallen. 98,177 new diagnoses of HIV were diagnosed in Russia in 2015,… Read more »

Russia censors internet support site for LGBT teens

Russia is set to blacklist a support website for LGBT teens that officials say violates the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law. Deti-404, which translates to Children-404, acts as an online support system for LGBT teens in Russia, where homophobia and transphobia continues to thrive. The website‘s users often share their stories about the anti-LGBT prejudices endured… Read more »

Russian gay activists stand for election in challenge to ‘corrupt’ Vlaidmir Putin

Two gay Russians are standing for election to the country’s Parliament, in a challenge to the country’s ruling party. Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party continues to hold an iron grip on the country politically, holding 141 of the 170 seats in the upper house, alongside a majority in the Duma. However, ahead of this month’s… Read more »

Russia Crime gangs blackmail gays

St. Petersburg, Russia — (AP) Criminal gangs in Russia, operating through gay dating sites, have found a lucrative new blackmail target: homosexual men. A St. Petersburg economist, one of their latest victims, said several men burst into the apartment where he was meeting his date. Claiming that his date was under age, they threatened to… Read more »

Russia’s LGBT community get the chance to show pride with a rainbow

Russia’s LGBT community can now protest against the country’s homophobic laws with a rainbow. A group of Dutch artists have launched a new protest project that will enable Russians to fight against the country’s notorious law against gay “propaganda”, without breaking it. The new app, Raduga (Russian for rainbow), tracks weather forecasts across country and… Read more »

Gay clubbing and stoic activism in Russia’s homophobic heartland

Coda Story report from the industrial city of Samara where the one remaining LGBT rights organisation provides invaluable support – discreetly It is late in Samara, an industrial hub in central Russia and the city’s only gay nightclub is proving difficult to find. In a dark car park there are none of the telltale signs:… Read more »

The Art of Reading Russian Obituaries

A journalist was killed in St. Petersburg last week, but no one called for an immediate and full investigation. No one seemed to suspect that he was killed because of his work. In a country of frequent and varied violence, this was a different kind of crime, a murder that dare not speak its name.… Read more »