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:

 

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 »

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 »

Calvin Klein accused of breaking ‘gay propaganda’ law in Russia

A new advert for the fashion giant’s latest fragrance has sparked outrage in Russia. Russian authorities says they have received a number of complaints for a new ad for Calvin Klein perfume CK2. The advertisement – which features two same-sex couples – has been reported to authorities in the country for allegedly containing “elements of… Read more »

Russia’s Invisible Children

“404 we exist!” reads one of the selfies from the Children 404 Vkontakte page that has been ordered to shut down. How one outreach forum for LGBT teens has been forced to adapt to growing pressure from politicians and the public “I do not know what is going on with me, and that’s the scariest… Read more »

Russia rejects bill to punish hand-holding and coming out with jail

A Russian Duma committee has rejected a bill which would have made coming out to young people and kissing in public punishable with jail sentences. The Russian Duma was set to vote this week on a measure which would ban all public displays of affection between same-sex couples. The legislation suggested punishments for same-sex couples… Read more »

Screening ‘Sodom’

Watching Russia’s strangest documentary On May 27, 2015, Russian celebrity journalist and film director Arkady Mamontov stood in a Moscow studio of the state-owned TV channel Rossiya 1 (Russia One) to discuss his latest documentary with a group of experts and an audience of about 70 people. Along with tens of millions of Russians who… Read more »

Europe, Putin, and the ‘Gayropa’ Bait

The Kremlin’s messaging on gay rights issues has little to do with beliefs Information war as most people understand it — the use of propaganda to persuade people that a certain cause is right — does not actually exist in Russia. The Russian doctrine of information war is not concerned with ideology. It is a… Read more »

Political Violence, Inc.

How attacks on Russia’s LGBT community are sub-contracted Political violence in Russia is a franchise industry. Anyone can peddle the product so long as they adhere to some basic marketing rules. End users are stratified into various preapproved categories, such as known supporters of “European values,” or prominent opposition politicians There are also ways of… Read more »

On the Frontiers of the “Russian World”

How homosexuality got caught up in the war in eastern Ukraine It was a windy afternoon and Anfisa Glushenko, a 23-year-old volunteer from the self-defense forces of the Luhansk People’s Republic, was in a chatty mood. As the car sped past the charred gas stations and abandoned villages of eastern Ukraine, she kept her green… Read more »

In and Out In ‘90s Russia

An observer looks back on what’s changed, and what hasn’t, for gays in Russia When I first lived in Russia in 1991, during a leave from my job at The San Francisco Chronicle, life was falling apart and cracking open simultaneously. The Soviet state was collapsing under the weight of its own terrible history. But… Read more »

The Origins of Russian Gay Myths

Four Myths that Fuel Hatred for Gays in Russia Most Russians want gays liquidated or ostracized. That’s according to a recent poll that showed hardening attitudes towards all minorities in Russia, but especially towards the country’s LGBT community. Behind Russia’s blossoming hatred for gays are several powerful myths that make up the Kremlin’s narrative of… Read more »

Russia passes law allowing them to ignore international human rights decisions

The Russian government votes to pass law which enables them to ignore decisions handed down by foreign justice bodies. Last week, the state Duma voted to pass a draft law titled “On Amendments to the Federal Constitutional Law ‘On the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation”. The bill-drafted by all four Russian parliamentary parties –… Read more »

Russian LGBT festival refuses to be silenced by ‘gay propaganda’ law

Bok o Bok’s opening night was ambushed by a screaming politician and visitors risked attack, but founders say they won’t be scared out of St Petersburg Holding events for the LGBT community in a country that is clamping down on human rights is difficult. Staging them in the cradle of the “gay propaganda” law is… Read more »

What It’s Like To Be Young, LGBT And Vilified In Russia

Photographer Misha Friedman takes a look inside “The Iron Closet.” New Yorkers can get a no-holds-barred look at Russia’s beleaguered lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth as part of Brooklyn’s annual “pop-up” photography festival. Photographer Misha Friedman, whose images have appeared in Time Magazine and The New Yorker, is bringing his exhibit, “The Iron… Read more »

Protests after gay son ‘exorcised’ in controversial Russian play

Russia’s law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ tested to its limits with play featuring gay teenager’s coming out story A play based on the true story of a gay son coming out to his parents is under threat in Moscow, after complaints from a protest group. ‘All the Shades of Blue’ – ‘blue’ is a slang term… Read more »

Gay in Putin’s Moscow: why the city is pinker than you think

Also see Gay Russia website LGBT nights are easy to find and Grindr reaches into the heart of the Kremlin itself. But two years after the law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’, can being gay in the Russian capital really be much fun? “Moscow is like a small European city in the mid-90s,” says Anton Krasovsky. “Everybody… Read more »

I’m gay and I’ve just spent a year living in Russia

People think it’s one of the most homophobic places in the world Outside of Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, Russia’s probably the last place a gay guy would want spend a year abroad in. Before I arrived in the country, the only things I’d heard about being homosexual in the country were horrendous. I’d read stories… Read more »

Russian Gay Activists Detained After Unsanctioned LGBT Rights Rally In Moscow

Moscow (Reuters) – Police broke up an unsanctioned gay rights rally in central Moscow on Saturday, detaining around 20 people, including anti-gay campaigners who attacked the activists. The campaigners had requested permission to hold a gay pride parade today, but Moscow authorities blocked the request for the tenth year in a row – an annual… Read more »

‘Sorry mum, I’m still gay’: Russian club helps parents accept sexual preference

As life becomes increasingly dangerous for LGBT community, Meduza joins a support group coaching families to come to terms with homosexuality The parents’ club has a few rules: you can only speak if you’re holding the navy dragon, a soft toy that has grown shabby in the club’s four-year existence; no interrupting is allowed; and… Read more »

Russia to block support group for gay teens

Russia’s main support group for teenagers who identify as LGBT is to be blocked under the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law. The founders of Children-404 – the name of which references the country’s censorship of gay culture with reference to the ‘404 – Page not found’ internet error – aimed to provide a safe space for… Read more »