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:

 

LGBT in Russia: smashing stereotypes and creating a queer future

For Russia’s LGBT community, homophobia and violence are part of day-to-day reality. Some cases, like the murder of activist Yelena Grigoryeva last week or torture in Chechnya, have made international headlines and caused global outrage, while others go tragically unreported. But there is more to LGBT+ life in Russia than just oppression. In fact, a… Read more »

Horrific evidence emerges of more torture in Chechnya’s gay purge

Men were suspended upside down while given electric shocks Graphic new evidence has emerged of the torture of gay men at the hands of authorities in Chechnya. The new evidence comes from the most recent crackdown of the LGBTI community. Earlier this year new reports revealed Chechnya had conducted another round up of LGBTI people… Read more »

Russian LGBT Activists Detained At St. Petersburg Protest

Russian police detained 11 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activists taking part in an annual Day of Silence protest in St. Petersburg on April 17. Around 50 protesters sealed their mouths with red tape and marched through the city’s streets. Russia passed a law in 2013 banning the spread of gay “propaganda.” By… Read more »

Survivors of Chechnya’s homophobic purge reveal what happened to them

These are the real stories of gay men who have been tortured, humiliated, beaten and electrocuted Survivors of Chechnya’s homophobic purge are, with very few exceptions, always anonymous. Many people have fled for their lives. Officers could catch them and send them back to a concentration camp. People are tortured, humiliated, beaten and electrocuted and… Read more »

All the top 10 happiest countries in the world have the best LGBTI rights

They’re gay in both senses of the word The World Happiness Report 2019 has been released and all of the top ten countries have an exemplary record on LGBTI rights. The report, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network in partnership with the Ernesto Illy Foundation, has ranked 156 countries on how happy their citizens… Read more »

Russia cancels youth festival for promoting LGBTI agenda

Festival organizers also received death threats Police hauled the organizer of a youth festival in Russia in for questioning as she received online death threats. Yulia Tsvetkova put together the Colour of Saffron festival in the far eastern town of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Due to run this weekend, local authorities cancelled the event over concerns one of… Read more »

This is what it’s like to be tortured in a Chechnya gay concentration camp

LGBTI activists on the ground are willing to try and evacuate as many as gay men as they can You hear a rapid knock on the door. Your eyes dart to the window, your heart beats faster. ‘It’s the police – open the door,’ a man says loudly from outside. You do – there are… Read more »

LGBTI crisis in Chechnya: People tortured in ‘gay purge’ need to flee the country

‘LGBTI people in Chechnya urgently need our help to save them from imprisonment, torture and murder’ LGBTI people are being rounded up, detained, tortured and executed in Chechnya. The ‘gay purge’ has been happening periodically since the end of 2016. What we know is that Chechen authorities have targeted human rights defenders, their critics and… Read more »

Activists: Chechen Authorities Order Families to Kill LGBT Family Members, Also Pay Ransoms

According to campaigners, families in Chechnya are being ordered to kill their LGBT relatives, with authorities also demanding money for the release of detained LGBT relatives. Russian campaigners have told The Daily Beast that Chechen authorities have ordered people to kill LGBT members of their own families, and have demanded ransoms for the release of… Read more »

Activists warn of a new wave of anti-gay attacks in Chechnya

Exclusive: Activists say authorities ‘have increased their activity’ Activists are warning of a new wave of anti-gay attacks in the Russian republic of Chechnya. According to a social media post last night (10 January), activists are urging LGBTI Chechens to flee immediately, amid a new crackdown against LGBTI people. It is understood authorities received new… Read more »

No Support

Russia’s “Gay Propaganda” Law Imperils LGBT Youth Summary Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in Russia face formidable barriers to enjoying their fundamental rights to dignity, health, education, information, and association. In Russia, antipathy towards homosexuality and gender variance is not new—LGBT people there have long faced threats, bullying, abuse inside their families, and… Read more »

Russian judge says the country should legalize same-sex unions

The judge said Russia should ‘create family relations different from the usual understanding of the union between a man and a woman’ A judge from Russia said his country should legalize same-sex unions. Dmitry Dedov sits on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). He shared his official ‘dissenting opinion’ in a written statement. Dedov… Read more »

Gay man refused justice after torture in Chechnya concentration camp

He says he remembers hearing the screams of other gay men in his blood-soaked cell A gay man is speaking out after suffering torture in a Chechnya concentration camp. Maxim Lapunov was one of the first victims of the ‘gay purge‘ in March 2017. Unknown thugs grabbed and dragged him into a car one night.… Read more »

Russia cannot continue to ban LGBTI events, top European court rules

Russian media describe the Court’s ruling as ‘the single biggest case to date’ A top European court ruled today (27 November) Russia can no longer ban LGBTI events. The ruling comes about after a group of seven Russian activists filed 51 applications with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They allege discrimination and a… Read more »

Court finds 16-year-old charged with ‘gay propaganda’ in Russia innocent

The teenager was charged for uploading photos of men without tops to a social media website The teenager arrested for spreading ‘gay propaganda’ in Russia has won his appeal. In July, 16-year-old, Maxim Neverov, was charged with ‘promoting non-traditional sexual relations’ for publishing several photos on the page on the social media network VKontakte. In… Read more »

Crimea attack: Gun attack at Kerch college kills 19

At least 19 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a shooting at a college in Russian-annexed Crimea. An 18-year-old student ran through the Kerch technical college firing at fellow pupils before killing himself, Russian investigators say. Witnesses have also spoken of at least one blast caused by an unidentified explosive. The motive… Read more »

Fleeing Anti-Gay Persecution in Chechnya, Three Young Women Are Now Stuck in Place

It begins as the most ordinary of stories and ends with three women who are trapped in a small apartment in a country I can’t name. If they are found here, they will be in danger, but they have nowhere else to go. They are queer refugees from a Muslim country, which means that the… Read more »

Most Russians believe in a secret group which is destroying their values with ‘gay propaganda’

A large majority of Russians think an unnamed group is using ‘gay propaganda’ to eradicate their spiritual values, according to state-funded research. The study by the government-run Russian Public Opinion Research Centre shows that more than three in five – 63 percent – believe in the existence of such a shadowy organisation. The news comes… Read more »

Teenager becomes first minor prosecuted under Russia’s anti-gay ‘propaganda’ laws

  Maxim Neverov reportedly fined by authorities over images posted on social network VKontakte A schoolboy has become the first minor to be prosecuted under Russia’s strict “gay propaganda” laws. Maxim Neverov, a 16-year-old from the city of Biysk, was reportedly fined £50,000 rubles (£580) by a court, according to campaign group the Russian LGBT… Read more »

Police In Russia Detain 25 LGBT Activists

Police in St. Petersburg, Russia on Saturday detained 25 LGBT activists. According to the BBC, the unsanctioned demonstration attracted 60 protesters, who gathered at the city’s main square holding banners and rainbow flags. In 2012, St. Petersburg approved a law that outlaws “gay propaganda” in the city. The following year, a nationwide ban was imposed.… Read more »

Life as a trans woman in Russia: Meet Ksenya

“Transgender people are not very welcome and, most of the time, are forced to hide,” Ksenya tells PinkNews. Russian native Ksenya, who considers herself lucky for never having run into any kind of physical aggression and for having a supportive family, was forced to move to St. Petersburg, which she says is the most tolerant… Read more »

LGBTQ Russians Are Fleeing To NYC, But They Still Face Hostility

Following Russia’s 2013 anti-gay “propaganda” law, applications for U.S. asylum from Russia have increased every year. Anastasia Orlova and her wife, Anna Elvira Brodskaya, were asleep in their apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia, when bullets hit their window. Male neighbors were shooting at them, angry that the women had previously refused their advances. It was… Read more »

Tchaikovsky and the secret gay loves censors tried to hide

New volume includes once-hidden passages about the composer’s homosexuality The words are tender and passionate, describing in raw detail the powerful emotions felt by one of the world’s best-loved composers. But until now some of the letters of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, in which he tells of his sexual desires, have been hidden from the world… Read more »

Chechnya ‘gay purge’: Russia claims it can’t find any evidence of LGBT people or violence

Russia’s justice minister has claimed officials can’t find any LGBT people in Chechnya after it was alleged they were being kidnapped, tortured and beaten by security forces. Alexander Konovalov told United Nations representatives on Monday that Russia had undertaken an investigation after shocking allegations emerged last year. ? A report in Novaya Gazeta, a Russian… Read more »

Anti-Putin Protests Sweep Across Russia

Russian police on Saturday arrested dozens of protesters rallying against President Vladimir Putin ahead of his inauguration. At least 15 people including a journalist were detained in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, according to an independent monitoring group. “Detentions were conducted in a rough manner,” said the monitor OVD-Info. Read more: Alexei Navalny: ‘ …… Read more »

Russia tightens gay website crackdown and bans HIV health website

Russia’s media regulator is shutting down a HIV health website as it continues to target LGBT+ websites in a media censorship crackdown. The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, known as Roskomnadzor, has ruled that LGBT+ portal and health website Parni PLUS (Guys Plus) can no longer run as it “promotes unconventional sexual relations.” ?… Read more »

Play about silenced 1920s gay poet rivets Moscow theatre audiences

Play tells story of poet Mikhail Kuzmin who disappeared into official obscurity during Soviet era A play about a largely forgotten gay poet from early 1900s Russia has emerged as the dark horse in this year’s Golden Mask awards, the Oscars of the Russian theatre world. The Trout Breaks the Ice is based on the… Read more »

We must get justice for gay and bisexual men murdered in Chechnya

State-sponsored violence in Chechnya against men perceived to be homosexual will not be forgotten, writes Matt Beard of All Out, and those responsible will be held to account One year ago this week, news broke of a wave of terrifying, state-sponsored violence in Chechnya against men perceived to be gay or bisexual. In scenes that… Read more »

Gay Chechens flee threats, beatings and exorcism

Family pressure has fuelled a sense of persecution felt by gay people in Chechnya, a mainly Muslim region in southern Russia. Dozens have fled and some have been granted asylum abroad, amid reports of kidnap and torture by Chechen security forces targeting gay or allegedly gay people. Chechen officials deny the reported abuses. Olga Prosvirova… Read more »

‘At least I know I won’t be killed’: how one gay man fled from Russia to Belarus

Peter* had set up a Skype account just to speak to PinkNews. Even though it has been six months since he left Russia to embark upon a new life in Belarus, he has to be cautious, and won’t tell me his real name. ? Since Russia’s gay propaganda law came into action in 2013, a… Read more »

Researching Queer Archives from the Former Eastern Bloc

Karol Radziszewski began his art publication DIK Fagazine in 2005, and has since delved into the little-known queer archives of former Soviet Union countries. In 2005, Karol Radziszewski, a young graduate from Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts, began DIK Fagazine. In Radziszewski’s words, the fanzine is “the first art magazine from Eastern Europe devoted entirely… Read more »

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 »