Feb 14

LGBTQ in Russia and Customs Union countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan)

Vera Akulova: “You” are guilty too, not just Putin “When you rant about the awful, cruel Putin, you should understand that Putin is really just a cog in the machine. Of course he gets his part of the benefits. Just like you do. Yes, in Russia like in most parts of the world, people work extremely hard for laughable amounts of money, they don’t have a say in who’s governing them, and when they try to protest, they are likely to get beaten up or arrested — all this so that you, sitting comfortably in your nice little bars and cafés (we don’t have such nice and cheap venues, you know, because small businesses are crushed by high taxes), can abuse the oh so uncivilized, backward Russia and pity the poor poor Russian gays (because everybody keeps forgetting about lesbians: they, that is to say, we, make the picture too complicated).”

Russian embassy compares antigay bias and violence to gingerism in England

How anti-gay groups use ‘Russian Facebook’ [VK] to persecute LGBT people: Widespread homophobia affects Russia’s online communities – and little is being done to stop it

Valentines day: parents say schools are engaging in gay propaganda

Time mag says Sochi mayor and Putin used gay bar as part of Potemkin village

Tsymbalova threatened

After “insult” against Brest war memorial, Kiselev compares Iwo Jimo memorial to gay sex

Esquire Russia story makes 2 composites out of all Children-404 letters. In English.

APA gay subcommittee makes brochure for Russians in Russian. Here is English.

Milonov coloring book

Racist tweet sending, Olympic flame lighting Irena Rodnina says western media just wants to hate Russia

Adoption by marriage equality countries is limited even further, including unmarried couples as well as married couples and gay people

Irina R.’s daughter

Lgbt info in Russian

Internet censorship and regulations under discussion

From Belarus: Look at all newspaper articles about homosexuality from 1997-2005.

Lawmaker calls for Kazakhstan to ban sex between women
A Kazakh lawmaker wants ‘lesbianism’ banned alongside sex between men as the country considers a new Criminal Code

Russian-Americans

Russian American gay man’s pro Russian opinion on Sochi, in state owned media Russia Beyond the Headlines

Masha Gessen on Citibank closing her account

Kiev Protests/ the Euromaidan

Will ukraine split?

“A number of well-known scholars on Ukrainian nationalism expressed their concern about, as they claimed, misrepresentation of Ukrainian protests by the international media unjustifiably over-emphasizing significance and centrality of the far right participation in a broad and diverse Euromaidan movement for the sake of empty sensationalism. Moreover, they point to a network of authors and institutions who may purposefully use such exaggerations to serve imperialist interests of Russia in Ukraine. No doubts, appeals for a balanced and objective media coverage can never be irrelevant. However, academic experts, who are politically liberal in the same time, are turning the real problem upside down. All in all, it is not superficial and sensational media reports together with some possible Kremlin conspiracy which are discrediting Ukrainian protests. Euromaidan is discredited by the non-imagined far right wing of the protest. It is the origins of the problem, not the other way around, that must be addressed in the first place.”

Trade, loan, and gas conflicts between Russia and other countries, Ukrainian oligarchs, etc-

Endgame Nears In EU’s Antitrust Showdown With Gazprom

The Geopolitics of Gas Exports

Civil Society and Political Opposition in Russia

Navalny: Mps are willing to be gay on demand to get visas

Internet censorship and regulations

“Western” Activist, Civil Society, Celebrity, Media, Corporate, and Governmental Responses to Russian LGBTQ Crisis

Funny or die memo

Coming Russian gay refugee crisis

Buddy Cole covers sochi for Colbert

interview with gay ambassador Dan Baer

dressing the us speedskating team

Enough liberal pieties on sochi and gay rights: “Google and the Guardian: what about doing something substantial, like countering the monies that US evangelical churches siphon to African countries with funding for the LGBT communities in those key warzones?”

Political Research Associates guy interviewed on NPR

French tv show on LGBT in Russia. Video here.

APA brochure for Russia

Nightline on gay Russian situation

Many Russian LGBT seek asylum in Europe, and ORAM issues guide

Sochi Olympics

Anti gay American protesters in sochi

Five ring fever: rosalux event on sochi and celebration capitalism

Why Sochi? Russia launched its Olympic bid in 2006, a moment when Putin was basking in his hard-won status as the leader who had finally vanquished the long-running rebellion in Chechnya

Circassian media failure

Other Olympics and the World Cups (Brazil 2014, Russia 2018, Qatar 2022)

Qatar World Cup labor contest

Five ring fever: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung event on Sochi and celebration capitalism

Geopolitical Context and Russian Internal Politics

Russian ambitions in Middle East

Why Sochi? Russia launched its Olympic bid in 2006, a moment when Putin was basking in his hard-won status as the leader who had finally vanquished the long-running rebellion in Chechnya

It’s not a Russian tradition to invite criticism, or to enjoy it,” says Oleg Shamonayev, a spokesman for Sport-Express, a leading Moscow sports news daily. “I’ve noticed that Americans sometimes ask for critical opinions. They seem to think contrary viewpoints are part of the process, but our mentality here is different. Our leaders do not appreciate criticism. And the Sochi Games were Putin’s personal project; to criticize the Games is to criticize Putin himself,” he says. “We don’t have any significant ideological differences,” [putin] told RT. “But we do have fundamental cultural differences. Individualism lies at the core of the American identity while Russia has been a country of collectivism…. Russians have different, far loftier ambitions, more of a spiritual kind, it’s more about your relationship with God. We have different visions of life. That’s why it is very difficult to understand each other but it is still possible.”

Saakashvili Times editorial “Though my country, Georgia, has almost no oil, it might hold the answer. For the last nine years, Georgia has been growing at a higher rate than Russia. Two years ago, I initiated unilateral visa-easing with Russia. Since then, more than one million Russians have come to visit. These predominantly urban middle-class visitors from a wealthier country came in part to admire Georgia’s much better services and infrastructure. Usually it’s the other way around: People from poorer countries go to the richer ones for that experience.”

Stephen Cohen: “The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a country still vital to US national security, has been under way for many years. If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines—particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin—is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm.”

A growing interest in the biopolitical dimensions of Russia’s key institutions of power could end up challenging some of the branding strategies. For example, only a few months after the Universiade in Kazan, the local seminary became a focus of scandalous revelations about homosexuality among the priests. Of course, from the standpoint of the Kremlin’s ideology of conservative normalisation, this is precisely what has to be purged and eradicated and purified. But the very fact that the Russian Orthodox Church is implicated may complicate the use of moral and religious motifs in promoting the Kazan brand.

Big vs small Cities

The Geopolitics of Gas Exports

“the Russian Turn”: laws in African countries to ban pro gay speech or political association/ organizing. Divestment and aid conditionality arguments

Blog from Ugandan science major undergrad on homosexuality

Enough liberal pieties on sochi and gay rights: “Google and the Guardian: what about doing something substantial, like countering the monies that US evangelical churches siphon to African countries with funding for the LGBT communities in those key warzones?”

NYT editorial on law in Nigeria

Jeff Sharlet on Uganda in Harper’s (from 2010)

Kda demo in DC

The US-Based International Social Conservative Movement

Enough liberal pieties on sochi and gay rights: “Google and the Guardian: what about doing something substantial, like countering the monies that US evangelical churches siphon to African countries with funding for the LGBT communities in those key warzones?”

Feb 10

LGBTQ in Russia and Customs Union countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan)

Lgbt arrests on day of opening ceremonies for unpermitted demo with banner quoting Olympic charter

Anastasia Smirnova Facebook post about being arrested

IOC defense of arrests

Lena Klimova letter to lgbtq youth

WPost on increased enforcement of propaganda ban

Slon infographic on uptick in gay propaganda prosecutions

Oleg Dusaev and his boyfriend Dmitriy Stepanov, excerpt from Gay Propaganda

Masha Gessen on Chris Hayes

Dazed Digital story

Some buzzfeed profiles: 7 LGBT do solo protests without getting arrested and lgbt far from the cities with photos

Russian pro lgbt comedy video

Antigay pseudoscience in Russia

Letter from IOC to Russian lgbt about progay speech and action at the Olympics

HRW on activists in profiles in courage

Russian gays’ ambivalence about Western response

pictures of Russian lgbtq activists

Laurie Essig on queer academe in Russia

Heavy handed western media hurts Russian LGBTQ, says Russian state TV channel RT

Putin tells lgbt to stop being aggressive and seeking attention

LGBTQ in contested countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia)

On stigma and gay bias against gender non conforming lgbt in ukraine

Art exhibit in Kiev

Kiev Protests/ the Euromaidan

Foreign affairs: Ukraine is disrupting message Putin wanted Sochi to send

Victoria Nuland recorded saying “fuck the EU”

Civil Society and Political Opposition in Russia

TV Rain is being closed by cable carriers refusing to carry it

Filmmaker Alexander Sokurov open letter to Putin on TV rain being closed by government pressure (in Snob)

Arrests of political opposition/ pro democracy activists on day of opening ceremonies

Miriam Elder on pussy riot

Pussy riot letter about Nadya and Masha

Crackdown on environmental activists

Dmitry Berdnikov, leader of the civil society movement ‘Against crime and lawlessness’ was detained this morning at Kazan airport while going through passport controls. ‘I was about to fly to the Olympics in Sochi, said Berdnikov in a call to the Kazan bureau of the Novaya gazeta newspaper. I have tickets to the games. I had already checked in my luggage and went through registration, but when I was boarding the plane I was stopped by police officials. They told me that one of the pages of my passport was damaged. Now I am at a police station. The plane has already taken off’.

Arseny Roginsky interview: What is Memorial?

Western Activist, Civil Society, Celebrity, and Governmental Responses to Russian LGBTQ Crisis

200 authors, including Salman Rushdie, oppose gay propaganda ban and blasphemy law

Hunted on Channel 4 Dispatches in UK

Twitter takeover: pro lgbt activists hijack “#cheerstosochi hashtag

Western demonstrations during the Opening Ceremony (per Anastasia Smirnova)
Vancouver, Canada
Berlin, Germany
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lisbon, Portugal
Ottawa, Canada
San Antonio, USA
New York, USA
New York, USA: debut of tracksuits by AK Burns, Jibz Cameron, TM Davy, Christian Dietkus, Scott Hug, Casey Legler, Kalup Linzy, Michael Mahalchick, Ryan McNamara, Robert Melee, Lucas Michael, Wardell Milan, David Mramor, Jack Pierson, Colin Self
Berlin (and probably other cities in Germany)
Paris, Nantes, Marseille, France
Manchester, UK
Washington, DC, USA

Video for Russia Freedom Fund with inaccurate/exaggerated information about laws in Russia

Norwegian commercial with lesbian kiss

Jim Hodges video of countries with flags and sentences for gay related activity

Funny or die video

Yelena Goltsman profile in tablet

European Parliament statement against antigay laws

Sochi Olympics

Racist tweet from woman who lit Olympic flame

Sochi liveblog on The Interpreter

Window on Eurasia – last Countdown to Sochi

Ban Ki Moon speech against homophobia

Fred Weir (CSM) on Western leaders non attendance

The 7 openly gay athletes at Sochi (all women)

Austrian lesbian ski jumper Daniela Iraschko-Stolz says Western reaction to Russian law is exaggerated (video in German but dubbed into Russian)

Power Vertical special episode of podcast on Sochi

Future Olympics and the World Cups (Brazil 2014, Russia 2018, Qatar 2022)

Brazil World Cup: lack of transparency in planning process foils protesters

Geopolitical Context

Foreign Affairs: why putin insists russia organic part of Muslim world

Putin and obscurantism

Relationship between GDP and homophobia

Stephen Wood on rethinking entry points into sexual rights advocacy

“the Russian Turn”: laws in African countries to ban pro gay speech or political association/ organizing. Divestment and aid conditionality arguments.

PRA on “beyond Russia”

Ian Scott Horst in Kasama Project on imperialism and homophobia in Africa

Nigerian antigay law in BBC and NYTimes. Whisper campaign in Nigeria to round up potentially gay men. NY Times editorial on Nigeria. Washington Post editorial on Nigeria. Guardian profile of the lgbt activists in Nigeria.

Creative time on living in fear in Uganda. church where lgbt Ugandans find a haven

The US-Based International Social Conservative Movement

Stop Scott Lively

Feb 5

LGBTQ in Russia and Customs Union countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan)

the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (ROSKOMNADZOR) has issued strict guidelines for Russian media sources on how to handle information about LGBT and what is permissible under the anti-gay propaganda law. ROSKOMNADZOR stated that it is now illegal in Putin’s Russia: 1. to say that the traditional family does not meet the full needs of modern society and the modern individual 2. to claim the acceptability of “alternative family relationships” 3. to portray heterosexual relationships negatively 4. to portray homosexuals as positive role models.

Banning gay propaganda in Russia is harming children, a Russian human rights group has said. Moscow Helsinki Group, the oldest Russian human rights organization, has released a report on the situation of children in the country.

3 men convicted of stabbing, killing, and setting alight a gay man

Lena Klimova and Children 404 are facing gay propaganda charges, fines. Interview with Klimova here: “As for us, this is totally Kafkaesque. We’re charged with promoting homosexuality among minors, and it is the letters of minors themselves that constitute this promotion. This is nonsense! But we’re told that no, minors will read the letters and be swayed.” Children 404 charges, as detailed in Colta.ru, and RIA Novosti. News segment on charges against children 404 (video in Russian)

Chief editor of newspaper convicted and fined for gay propaganda for quoting fired gay teacher

a 14-year-old 9th grade schoolgirl in Bryansk came out online, was reported to officials by antigay activist, then charged with gay propaganda by police. A member of the Duma came to her defense. The charges were dropped. The schoolgirl herself is thinking of bringing charges against the man who reported her to her school. He is a social conservative activist in St Petersburg.

Russians reveal mixed experiences under gay propaganda laws: “For Petrov, while Russia’s laws do pose a threat, he is more concerned about the next generation. ‘When I was a teenager, I did not know a lot about gay people. But I read newspapers and watched films where I could access information. I listened to taTu,’ he says, referring to the Russian pop duo featuring Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova. ‘Today, teens can only get negative information about homosexuality and transsexuality. If a teen self-identifies as gay and everyone around him says it is a perversion and a disease, how can this teen continue to live?’ … ‘If you want to support the LGBT community, you cannot boycott the country,’ Yasine says. ‘That isolates the LGBT community here. Both local and international support is important for the fight to be effective.’ … ‘The situation is difficult because current legislation leaves us almost no room for dialogue,’ Sultanova says. ‘But there is still space for change to happen. We need solidarity and support from our allies abroad to make this a reality.’

Russian state owned TV channel RT says that heavy-handed western media coverage hurts Russian LGBTQ

Russia accuses the EU of aggressive propaganda of homosexuality

A recent report on Russian TV argues that Europe will legalize incest and pedophilia in Europe after gay marriage.

Doctor writes letter to Putin asking him to recognize homosexuality as a disease

Overview of Trans activism in Russia

Russia expels US journalist David Satter

Kiselev met with Israeli president Peres despite Russian and Israeli activists urging Peres not to meet with him.

Russian Orthodox Church proposes referendum to criminalize homosexuality

4 Russian trans people are profiled in Colta.ru

Occupy Pedophilia’s Maxim Martinskevich is arrested in Cuba on charges of inciting ethnic hatred

Isakov conviction based on complaint from 1000 miles away: “The complaint was filed to the investigating authorities by a teenage resident of the Arkhangelsk region, 1,000 miles away from Kazan, who had allegedly read about the Isakov’s picket on the Internet and asked the authorities to punish him for gay propaganda. This court decision sets a precedent that anyone holding any public LGBT rallies might be found guilty only because some teenager who wasn’t there at the time of the rally saw a report on the internet.”

Priest in video link says it wouldn’t be a bad idea to punch a homosexual or throw eggs, as “these people have no rights.”

Photo of designated protest area at Sochi

Lgbt march in anti fascist rally

Nytimes says Putin gay baits by saying gays should “leave the children alone” when they come to Sochi

Pressure Mounts On Belarusian LGBT Community: Activists say their attempt to legally register the gay-rights organization GayBelarus, also known as Lambda, in January has sparked an angry response from the government of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka — himself a self-proclaimed and unapologetic homophobe.
Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community accuse police of summoning them for questioning, raiding their clubs, humiliating them and, in at least one case, using physical violence.

According to the investigative journalists at the Russian news portal Fontanka.ru, it appears that infamous Russian homophobic lawmaker, Vitaly Milonov, was involved in a numerous financial schemes to raise millions of rubles for his election campaign in St. Petersburg, Russia. The English translation of the original article has been provided by Mr. George Budny, our human rights activist, in his on-line blog titled “Russian Government Suspicious Schemes: Funding Social Welfare or Rewarding Human Rights Violators?” It appears that Mr. Milonov, his wife and a close associate used an elaborate scheme to funnel money from the St. Petersburg city budget through their NGO “Orthodox World” and a mysterious corporation “Empire” which contact info they are not able to recall.  Allegedly Mr. Milonov’s charity distributed food kits for the needy in the fall of 2011 and first half of 2012, i.e. just before the parliamental and presidential elections in Russia. Oddly enough, the journalists found out that his NGO “Orthodox Word” was registered only in June 2012. Mr. Milov was unable to explain this fact. Also, neither Mr. Milonov, nor his close associate, Mr. Alexey Knyazev, could recall any details about the major supplier of the food kits, “Empire” corporation, even though that corporation allegedly delivered tons of food. Both men issued numerous contradicting statements, sometimes even denying their involvement into the NGO “Orthodox World” while being listed on the record as the founders.

Russian lgbt speak (part one of three). Within youtube, you can set the closed caption option to English, Dutch, or Russian. Part two is here.

LGBT protestors bring charges against police: “Our main demand is that the police’s actions, primarily the detentions, be declared illegal because those arrested people essentially detained for nothing and accused of crimes they did not commit,” Kirichenko said. “The second demand is that damages in the amount of 225,000 rubles ($6610) each be paid. Finally, we are seeking formal apologies from the chiefs of the police stations where people were held after being detained.”

Russian politician supports Ivan O: “I support Ivan, because all that is done against God – it is unnatural.’s All propaganda turmoil and depravity, – quotes Kobzon portal Heat.ru . – Unfortunately, the president can not take such drastic solutions, otherwise it may cause resonance in society, but I as a citizen of his country, Ivan fully endorse. I voted in support of the law banning propaganda of homosexuality and intends to continue to fight against this evil. The only thing that I still can not say is that the forms of struggle may be different . Ivan spoke quite sharply, but for citizens as for the president and for the priest, everything naturally – is acceptable.”

Ivan O says Russia should recriminalize homosexuality

In Russia, it pays to be a homophobe. After his recent homophobic statements, Okhlobystin earned praise from his many old — and newly ­acquired — fans who support his views. He not only retained his leading role in the popular series “Interny” on TNT television, but on Tuesday he was appointed creative director of VAON, a fashionable clothing retailer. Meanwhile, Mamontov and Kiselyov have helped increase ratings on Rossia 1 television in no small measure thanks to their numerous homophobic comments about the need to cleanse Russia of its “sodomite contagion.”

Are Russia’s gay haters really in the closet?

radio show Michael Bom us, editor of the views and comments of the newspaper The Moscow Times, with us as well Jiri Joost, Czech journalist. Topics that we are discussing today, in a sense intersect. First topic: What is the attitude of society to the very sharp, vicious homophobic statements by some media persons and how Western society would react to similar statements

Voronezh activist with rainbow flag attacked by Olympic security, turned in to police

LGBTQ in contested countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia)

Representatives of sexual minorities tried to give Victor Medvedchuk and his movement “Ukrainian Choice” award for significant contributions to the LGBT movement in the Ukraine.

Kiev: men with baseball bats attack gay bar

Someone films opposition journalist Vitaliy Portnikov having gay sex in his apartment and posts video online. “In December, a video containing intimate and illegally obtained images of the journalist appeared on the Internet. His Kyiv apartment was also picketed last week by some 50 protesters who carried threatening posters and accused Portnikov of ‘immoral behavior.'”

Ukrainian Orthodox Church might face Belarusian scenario “A Kremlinological reading of recent moves by the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church suggests that Moscow hopes somehow to engineer the replacement of the head of its branch of Orthodoxy in Ukraine, a step intended to bring the Ukrainians to heel but an attempt likely to further alienate it from Moscow.”

LGBTQ in socially conservative EU countries

Lithuanian legislator proposes ban on adoption for same sex couples.

The National LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) rights organization LGL encouraged the Social Democrats fraction of the Parliament to disapprove the legal amendments that were considered on January 21st. The legal amendment and its intention do not differ from the human rights impairing so called “homosexuality propaganda” restrictions that are valid in Russia.
This week the Parliament discussed whether the controversially considered amendments should be introduced to the Code of Administrative Violations of Law. In the revised amendment it is suggested to foresee administrative responsibility and harsh fines for any public defiance of the constitutionally established family values. By carrying out public speeches, demonstrating goods, posters, slogans and audiovisual means, as well organizing public events such as gay prides and other kind of actions, one would thus act against the law.

Kiev Protests/ the Euromaidan

Tetyana Chornovol: A crusading antigovernment journalist and activist in Ukraine who became famous last year after documenting the opulence of the heavily guarded residential compound of President Viktor F. Yanukovich was savagely beaten early Wednesday. The assault on the activist, Tetyana Chornovol, 34, just outside the capital, Kiev, was the latest attack on government opponents who have been participating in sustained protests that have shaken the country.

Great livejournal from the Maidan: Ilya Varlamov. Many great photos.

Tim Judah on Ukraine

War has started in Ukraine that could lead to civil war, partition.

Timothy Snyder on Ukraine in NYRB

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed into law a bill aimed at curbing anti-government protests.

Prime Minister Resigns as legislature repeals anti-protest laws

Russia told Ukraine on Tuesday it had transferred the first $3 billion tranche of a $15 billion bailout, part of plans to keep Kiev firmly within Moscow’s orbit and out of the European Union’s embrace.

Yanukovych losing popularity even in stronghold of eastern Ukraine

Trade, loan, and gas conflicts between Russia and other countries, etc-

Cheese and chocolate politics

Civil Society and Political Opposition in Russia

At first blush, the pardon for Khodorkovsky appears to be a rather canny move that will throw Putin’s critics off-balance in the run-up to Sochi while sending a clear message of self-confidence to his domestic political opponents. By releasing Khodorkovsky (and, presumably the Pussy Riot art pranksters and the Greenpeace activists in due course), Putin and his surrogates will soon be able to say to Western audiences, “Why all the fuss about human rights in Russia? Russia doesn’t have any political prisoners after all.”

Closing statement of Bolotnaya defendant Alexandra Dukhanina-Naumova

Updated list of “foreign agent” law crackdowns on NGOs from Human Rights Watch

“Western” Activist, Civil Society, Celebrity, Media, Corporate, and Governmental Responses to Russian LGBTQ Crisis

UN Committee on the rights of the child opposes Russia gay propaganda ban.

Human Rights Watch video on antigay violence in Russia

“Hunted” episode of Dispatches on channel 4 in UK

AT&T condemns Russian anti gay law, however it is sponsor of US Olympic committee, not the Sochi Olympics

The Obama administration has decided not to add any new names to a list of Russian human rights violators this year, an abrupt reversal that has left congressional officials and human rights advocates stunned.

ILGA Europe statement requesting EU countries not send high ranking officials to Sochi

Recently the European Parliament considered the resolution proposed by the Portuguese deputy, feminist Edith Estrella, about sexual education of preschoolers. The document caused an uproar because the proposed starting  “sex education” of children from 6 years of age. And this, I may say, “education” offers an explanation for the kids on how to masturbate, how to use condoms, and that couples can be both traditional and of same sex. Germany has adopted a highly controversial law on the basics of sexual education in primary school. And one couple refused to let her daughter go to such classes . Parents were offered to pay the fine , and after father’s refusal to do so, for one day he was put in prison. It is a symbolic punishment, but it clearly shows that for the rejection of radical forms of “sex education” a man can be behind bars. Same-sex marriage and adoption were also imposed on people of France by police measures.

Charlie Rose episode: Russia and the Olympic games in Sochi with David Herszenhorn, Masha Gessen, Julia Ioffe and Stephen Sestanovich

John Carlos supports lgtbq rights

Berlin musicians record pop song, “love is not for propaganda” to benefit Russian lgbtq

2000 Swedes sing Russian national anthem. 100 Russian traditional values advocates sing anthem in krasdonar

Spain shuts down its Occupy Pedophilia group the “Pilla Pilla Project”: On December 24, 2013 Spanish police arrested Neo Nazi gay bashing gang in Barcelona. The gang leader, Mr. Mikola Zatkalnitsky, Ukrainian immigrant who now resides in Spain, is a staunched supporter of the “Occupy Pedofilyaj” movement founded by Maxim Martsinkevich (aka “Clever”) in Russia. This movement hunts down gay people using fake personal ads on the social networks. Once captured the victims undergo torture, beating and forced outing on video. All video materials are distributed on-line along with the personal details of each victim. Catalan police have arrested four individuals associated with an online gay bashing ring. According to El Economista, police in the city of Granollers, close to Barcelona, have arrested four individuals aged between 19 and 24 who are reportedly part of a neo-Nazi group inspired by Russia’s Occupy Pedophilia.
Pilla Pilla victim writes blog post: Spanish and English.

Artist designed tracksuits

Sochi Olympics

Gay activists get ready for tough sledding at Winter Olympics

Paul Goble’s Countdowns to Sochi: One week
Two weeks
Three weeks
Four weeks
Five weeks
Six Weeks
Seven weeks.

Other Olympics and the World Cups

Qatar World Cup

Dec 19

LGBTQ in Russia and Customs Union countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan)

In Kazan, a court found gay activist Dmitry Isakov guilty of gay propaganda under federal law. He became the third person convicted in Russia for promoting non-traditional sexual relations, but intends to appeal the verdict. According to the court, Dmitry Isakov was fined 4,000 rubles [$121 USD] the minimum amount possible

100 people break in to gay nightclub central station and ransack and trash the place, destroy roof. Gay Russians ask Putin to investigate. Video here.

Ikea Moscow protests: facebook photo set

Local officials propose to boost local economy in Far East by creating a lawless zone where there is duty-free sale of alcohol and cigarettes,  casinos and gambling houses, gay clubs and brothels [services of a sexual nature in Russia is prohibited.]

In Volgograd Regional Court, the trial of the men alleged to have killed and abused/violated Vlad Tornovogo is being held behind closed doors. The process is closed due to “discuss the circumstances of his personal life [for which] was killed.” Previously, the defendants claimed that Vlad Tornovoy admitted that he was gay, and that was the reason of the murder. However, the Tornovogo family is hurt that Elton John dedicated his December 6 concert in Moscow to Vlad Tornovomu. Vlad Tornovogo’s mother Violetta N. is sure that her son was not gay, and murderers have reported this during interrogation, hoping that it will be considered a mitigating circumstance. Igor Kehman, Vlad’s classmate, told  Radio Liberty that Vlad [had told an] “unfortunate joke.”  Vladislav Tornovogo grandmother Lily Lynova says that her grandson had girlfriends, and “so it was not.””

Russian TV actor says to burn gays alive in ovens

LaSky released a short film about the availability for Russian teenagers education on sexual health, including the impact of laws banning the “promotion of non-traditional values” on the knowledge and behavior of adolescents. (Access to video requires permission from channel)

Arrest warrant issued for Maxim Martsinkevich  who fled to Cuba. Zhirinovsky calls for amnesty to Maxim Marcinkiewicz/ Martsinkevich and other nationalists. Fugitive Max Marcinkiewicz nationalist, hiding in Cuba, posted an appeal on social networks, in which he gave his version of [the reasons why] Russian security forces are interested to arrest him. Marcinkiewicz said that the investigator TFR investigating his case [seeks] revenge for [Martsinkevich] exposing pedophiles  [such as the investigator’s] friend Andrew Kaminov – deputy head of the Bailiff of the suburbs. Outstanding Cleaver said that he would not return to Russia, and will “ride on Latin America” and continue its activities through the network.

On December 9, Alexander Burkov published detailed instructions for removing video material posted groups “Occupy pedofilyay” network Vkontakte. Instruction are designed for those who had been the victim of the fascist movement and [who had been used as] the main protagonist of [a] video clip. Alexander almost immediately began to receive death threats from “pedofilyaytsev”, including their infamous leader, Maxim Marcinkiewicz nicknamed “Slasher”. Contacting the police itself gave nothing. Initiate criminal proceedings was refused. Putin’s government openly cover gangsters and fascists.

A new “Moonlight People” TV series set in production in Russia. The series is dedicated to LGBT issues and based on a real story. The project reflects the realities of life in Russia, where homosexuals have to deal with rejection of others on a daily basis and literally survive to prove their right to exist.

Russian GQ publishes German GQ photo essay of straight men kissing

English language report by a heterosexual female judge at bok o bok film fest

According to an anonymous source at the Kazan Theological Seminary, one member of the leadership molested some seminarians, trying to engage him in a sexual relationship.

Elton John does sentence-finishing exercise for Esquire Russia

“Hello, I – the son of a lesbian”: Dmitry Pashinsky spoke with three young men who grew up in families of gays and lesbians

Mizulina Q&A online

In his address to Putin, could not, of course, not to say about the protection of “traditional values” around the world, as the know-how and the pride of contemporary Russian foreign policy. “We will strive to be leaders, defending international law, ensuring respect for national sovereignty, independence and identity of peoples”

Fanty toy store chain accused of promoting homosexuality for carrying game

Mayer Brown says Mizulina’s son supports his employer’s pro gay policies

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev says that Russia’s anti-gay legislation is a piece of “exoticism” that reflects the current trend of the Russian parliament to focus on the wrong issues. He said the Duma “may offer exotic initiatives but that does not mean that they should be supported.” Medvedev’s comment is the clearest indication yet that he does not agree with the law that President Vladimir Putin has made a centerpiece of his policies and that continues to cause so much trouble abroad in the run-up to the Sochi Games

David Remnick on gays and Russia

Deputy Svetlana Zhurova: “On the prohibition of homosexual propaganda many otpiarilis” Radio “Voice of Russia” published an interview with skater Svetlana Zhurova, five-time champion of Russia and the world champion in sprint decathlon, Olympic champion in 2006. Currently Zhurov is a State Duma deputy, member of the Federation Council, representing the Government of the Kirov region, as well as member of the Supreme Council of the party “United Russia”.

LGBTQ in contested countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia)

Parents Committee circulates propaganda in the form of child education materials purportedly from the EU about masturbation: “In sex education standards WHO which relies on the resolution and to the rest of masturbation sex education from primary school children really given an important place.”

Statement of LGBT and LGBT-friendly organizations of Ukraine concerning the socio-political situation caused by the failure of the Ukrainian authorities to sign an Association Agreement between Ukraine and EU in November 2013

All-Ukrainian round table “Preserving traditional family values in Ukraine” will be held on 20 December in Kyiv. The initiator of the event is the Association of Christian writers. The Parent Committee of Ukraine, Institute of family and marital life, movement “all together!”, “love against homosexualism”, “women’s Federation for world peace”, Ukrainian “prosvita”, Svetlana and Vitaliy Bilonozhko, Anzhelika Rudnitskaya, Vladimir Bistr‚kov, Snezhana Egorova, Paul Ungur‚n and others. Date and place of the round table: 20 December, Kyiv, large Conference Hall of NAS of Ukraine, str. Vladimirskaya, 55, Autopsy room. Start the meeting at 13.00. Contact: spilka_chpu@ukr.net, phone: 0503885262.

Gay alliance Ukraine to work with parents of lgbt

long thread on a Ukrainian lgbt Facebook group addresses the question “why isn’t there an lgbt tent on the maidan?

77 people’s deputies of Ukraine sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and demanded an amendment to the Association Agreement with the EU “in the Ukrainian part of the defense of the traditional family.”

propaganda about eu life circulates in Ukraine

False statements about gay marriage made by Ukrainian PM Azarov: “To obtain a visa-free regime with the EU, Ukraine needs to legalize same-sex marriages and adopt a law on the equality of sexual minorities.” This was stated by Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, speaking at the European Square at a rally of supporters of the Party of Regions. Russian media report this misinformation

orthodox propaganda in Ukraine says that the EU is forcing Greece to legalize same sex marriage. This is the case they mention but distort: Civil unions should not be reserved for heterosexual couples, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled [in November], condemning Greece for creating a “life partner” legal category that excludes gays.discrimination.

LGBTQ in socially conservative EU countries

Carnegie Moscow: an east-west gay rights divide: “Lithuania however, is a member of the European Union and NATO. It can be assumed that many Ukrainians will also ‘choose Europe’ without fully sharing the European agenda on gay and lesbian rights.”

Kiev Protests/ the Euromaidan

Voices from the maidan “As I am leftist and anti-globalist, I made the slogan “Fuck the EU, fuck the police.” I was working as part of my professional expertise against certain points in the EU Association Agreement—it would have extended patents and prevented us from registering generic drugs, which are much cheaper. But that’s all over. Now it’s about standing against the power that still considers us—left and right and liberal, Christian, Jewish, Tatar, Georgian—as its slaves.”

Evromaydan wondering about the true price of gas discounts Protesters in downtown Kiev ask themselves what promised Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in exchange for a discount on Russian gas, and get ready to beat Maidana possible overclocking.

Short videos from the euromaidan

Russia cries foul over west’s embrace of protestors: “Riding that wave of anger over the ‘double standards’ of Western governments, Russia’s State Duma passed a tough declaration this week insisting that ‘special concerns are raised by the open interference of foreign statesmen in the internal affairs of the sovereign Ukraine, which contradicts all international norms.’ … Sergei Strokan, foreign affairs columnist with the pro-business Moscow daily Kommersant, says the Western leaders may be deploying tough talk to compensate for their unexpected and galling failure to win at least this round in the battle for Ukraine. ‘It’s very difficult to find any place in the world today where American diplomacy is succeeding, and so some of the behavior that we see displayed in Kiev [by US diplomats] looks a bit idiotic. But it just underlines that they don’t seem to know what to do with Ukraine. You can’t substitute rhetoric for a sound strategy, but that’s what it looks like they’re doing,’ he says.”

Boris Nemtsov was not allowed to Kiev. No doubt that the Russian Foreign Ministry, which is regularly arranged noisy tantrums when times Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko did not let that Konstantin Zatulin, then Yuri Luzhkov, this one will pretend that nothing bad happened.

Trade, loan, and gas conflicts between Russia and other countries, Ukrainian oligarchs, etc-

Andrew Wilson on ukraine stalemate: ““the only place with free cheese is a mousetrap”. Trade restrictions will be reviewed. Russia will fund $15 billion of Ukrainian debt – eked out quarterly. The price of gas will fall to the level in Germany (plus transit), $268.5 per 1,000 cubic metres rather than $410. Just as importantly, all the key oligarchic groups are given a bone. The Yanukovych ‘family’ hopes to have a cut in gas transit; Ukraine’s beleaguered steel and pipe exporters are offered some relief; deals were cut for aircraft and shipbuilding. The price will come in asset sales. The Ukrainians may end up selling more to the Russians than Belarus has. Yanukovych may even pass the tipping point where, instead of using his country as collateral in a positive-sum bargaining game between Russia and the West, he has to sell more and more at the margin simply in order to survive, especially as he will be more dependent on Russia first to get to and then to try and win the 2015 election.”

Gas politics after ukraine

Who lost ukraine?

15 billion bailout from Putin

Does the EU need the ukraine?

Not all Russians want to bring back the empire

US Senator Chris Murphy: The path to financial sovereignty of Ukraine has to run through the IMF. Ultimately, Russia may be able to provide a short-term solution, but can’t provide the kind of long-term stability that a relationship with the IMF and Europe can. We think the United States can be helpful in negotiating the conditions of that loan, but it’s nearly impossible to do that, given the current uncertainty as to the association agreement.

In Ukraine the oligarchs hedge their bets: President Yanukovych has done a deal in Moscow, and the protesters on the streets are holding their ground. But what about the oligarchs, who hold sway over so many areas of life in Ukraine? Their recent behavior has been akin to equivocation, says Oleksander Andreyev.

Moldova pivoted its exports so that Russia couldn’t threaten it: “When the first wine embargo was imposed in 2006 (at a time when the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, declared he was “hardly satisfied” with bilateral relations), Russia bought 80 percent of Moldovan wine exports. Today, it accounts for only 25 percent, with the rest heading mainly to Europe (where, curiously, it meets strict health standards). The real turning point came in 2009, when the European Union replaced Russia as the biggest market for Moldova’s goods, taking 55 percent of its exports. ‘It was a diversification that was forced on us,’ Mr. Serebrian said. ‘They forced us to become independent.’”

Tweet by nicu popescu  @nicupopescu 17 Dec
Comparison : 50% of #moldova exports go to #eu, 39% or #armenia exports to eu, and only 25% if #ukraine exports go to eu.

Moscow uses energy as a geopolitical weapon and is thus in a strong position vis a vis the EU, 40% of whose gas supplies come from Russia. But new developments, including shale gas discoveries, are enabling Europe to retaliate and the outcome is not a foregone conclusion, says Agnia Grigas: “On the one hand, Russia may appear to have the advantage – Europe is increasingly dependent on Russian oil and gas and Putin seems determined to play the energy card to divide and conquer the EU member states. On the other, the concern of the most energy-vulnerable new EU member states is beginning to attract attention across European capitals. Furthermore, the new EU member states are starting to influence EU energy policy. In fact, Russia’s energy policies can only be as influential as European states will allow. EU energy policies, diversification, shale gas discoveries, and green energy initiatives will sooner or later diminish energy dependence on Russia and, therefore, its influence.”

Where exactly will Russia get the $15b it will lend to Ukraine?

US Senator Christopher Murphy has a message to Ukrainians after Russia’s recently announced $15bn (£9.2bn) bailout package: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. “The only place that you find free cheese is in a mousetrap,” he told the BBC’s Katty Kay on Tuesday night. “There are conditions that come with this Russian money. We don’t know what it is yet.”

On the year ahead for ukraine: “Less visible, but equally important, are the growing fissures within Yanukovich’s own camp. Some of his MPs have defected and prominent figures such as Petro Poroshenko, an oligarch-cum-businessman who was a minister one year ago, have taken to the streets alongside the protestors. And all three of Ukraine’s former presidents – Kravchuk, Kuchma and Yushchenko – have released an unprecedented joint statement in support of the Association Agreement with the EU.”

NYT Bill Keller on Russia Ukraine and LGBTQ: “Since his current presidential term began in 2012, Putin has felt increasingly that his overtures to the West were not met with due respect, that Russia was treated as a defeated nation, not an equal on the world stage. His humiliation and resentment have soured into an ideological antipathy that is not especially Soviet but is deeply Russian. His beef with the West is no longer just about political influence and economic advantage. It is, in his view, profoundly spiritual…. Protesters rallying at Independence Square in Kiev represent a generation that has studied, worked and traveled in Poland since it joined Europe, and that does not want to retreat to some shabby recreation of the Russian empire. They are backed, too, by a significant segment of Ukrainian business, which prefers Western rule of law to the corruption and legal caprice of Russia and Ukraine.”

What the neocons want from ukraine

The west was prepared to give Kiev at least €20bn in loans if Ukraine agreed sign a landmark European Union integration agreement last month, according to an internal EU document seen by the Financial Times. The total would have broadly matched the bailout package Russia pledged to Ukraine on Tuesday – and what Ukraine had publicly demanded. More ON THIS TOPIC Bailout moves Ukraine closer to Moscow Russia cuts deal to finance Ukraine Tymoshenko absence looms over protests Kiev faces protests as Ukraine talks fail EU officials said Russia’s bailout, including $15bn in bond buying and a gas price reduction worth at least $4bn, pushed Kiev further away from western Europe, adding that talks on an EU deal remained frozen for the time being.

Ctv on Euromaidan and Yanukovych: interview with head of Ukrainian-Canadian group

Civil Society and Political Opposition in Russia

Pyotr Pavlensky is the performance artist who nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones of Red Square. Pained, the government reaction was to institute criminal proceedings against him. Yelena Kostyleva talked to Pavlensky the night before his first interrogation.

Tolokonnikova will perform in prison concerts

In the State Duma, a proposal to ban media and NGOs funded from abroad “‘Today we should pay attention to various community organizations, all sorts of rumors of human rights, nationalism, which are combined in order to jointly funded by Western money. They actively work out the money invested in them, they gather it to various people Maidan, today they have the groups that provoke police clash even in peaceful marches’- Kazakov said, speaking at the plenary session of the State Duma on Friday.”

open letter in English from Russian writers and translators to Ukrainian protestors in euromaidan: “Be assured that for many in Russia, Ukraine is not a lost sheep that must be roped and pulled back into the fold, but an equal nation whose culture is opening ever new possibilities for fruitful dialogue. Your struggle for the right to choose your own path is bound to be difficult, but we wish you every success. Your success would be a sign for us that even we, in Russia, can stand up for our own rights and freedoms. We are with you!”

But (as Vaclav Havel used to argue) the irony is what makes the system strong: as long as you don’t believe in anything and are always playing identity masquerades, you will never do anything real and committed. Irony spills into cynicism. The emotional underpinning of the late Soviet and Putin eras is a somewhat aggressive apathy. The biggest obstacle to the Russian protest movement is less adoration of Putin than the idea that nothing will change anyway (Alexey Navalny calls it ‘the final battle of good against the forces of neutrality’). So Gazmanov’s song, which echoes a world of praising General Secretary Chernenko while listening to Springsteen, is both ironic and therefore a hymn to Soviet imperialism.

Western Activist, Civil Society, Celebrity, and Governmental Responses to Russian LGBTQ Crisis

The US delegation to Sochi: How big a snub? “Activists in Russia’s beleaguered LGBT community, who met with Obama during his September visit to St. Petersburg, say they never asked Western leaders to boycott the Olympics, but they appreciate the signal of support that’s being sent by the decision of some countries not to send top-level delegations. ‘If you’re sitting next to Putin, Russian audiences will see that as condoning his policies unless you make a strong statement otherwise,’ says Polina Andrianova, an activist with Vykhod [Coming Out], a St. Petersburg LGBT group” from Christian Science Monitor. Also see Deadspin   and Buzzfeed   and USA Today   and Queerussia

Louganis criticizes Roberts for hosting Miss Universe

Greg Louganis urged American Olympians on Friday to dedicate their performances at February’s Sochi Games to their gay friends and relatives as a means of public but personal protest against Russian anti-gay laws.

Add authors of antigay legislation to Magnitsky list, say some activists

If US expands Magnitsky list, Russia will retaliate

Jamie Kirchick responds to criticism in national interest

US Fund Managers Urge Sochi Sponsors to Speak Out on Russia’s Gay Law. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees the state’s $160 billion retirement fund, along with 20 other officials who oversee such funds, send a letter to the major corporate sponsors of the Sochi Games wrote in a letter this week to sponsors of the Sochi Games asking them to speak out about Russia’s anti-gay law Russian commentators have denounced this as an unacceptable effort by the American government to put pressure on the Russian government and one intended to disrupt the games

Munich LGBTQ protest Gergiev because he will direct the Munich Philharmonic despite Putin support. Rotterdam angry about Gergiev interview where he relates antigay legislation to pedophilia: “If a friend of Vladimir Putin conductor Valery Gergiev did not really see the difference between homosexuality and pedophilia, the Dutch authorities in Rotterdam will not be the 18th time to fund a musical project called “Gergiev Festival.”

Ikea and Russian LGBTQ

Queer Nation: NBC news cuts rights related section of ap story on Putin’s state of the union

Protest at NBC sports Christmas party

Jessica Stern of IGLHRC’s ground rules. TEN PRINCIPLES RECOMMENDED FOR U.S.-BASED ACTIVISTS IN SOLIDARITY WITH LGBT RIGHTS STRUGGLES IN SOMEONE ELSE’S COUNTRY

Meredith Vieira on Leno

Lady Gaga Reiterates Call for Sochi Boycott.

Amnesty International Won’t Call for Sochi Boycott.

IOC, FIFA Should Take Gay Rights into Consideration in Awarding Sports Venues, Activists Say. Former professional basketball player Jason Collins and tennis champion Martina Navratilova told a UN meeting on the occasion of International Human Rigts Day that international sports organizations should take the state of gay rights in a potential host country into consideration when choosing where to hold competitions

2 upcoming Berlin events
5 jan 2014, 12 clock: Streitraum : homophobia politics or politics of homophobia: Boris Dittrich and Gulya Sultanova in conversation with Carolin Emcke: Why is criticism of human rights violations quieter when there are gay people whose rights are violated? Or deceptive impression? A month before the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russian criticism of Vladimir Putin’s homophobic policy remains subdued . Why are not there more calls for a boycott of the Games – in protest against the ” propaganda law” in Russia, which represents any positive public statement about homosexuality to minors under punishment? How can the non-simultaneity in the acceptance of gays and lesbians in Europe explain : while many European countries enforced marriage for all, and the adoption rights for lesbians and gay men (except Germany), go in France thousands in protest against the equality of the road. What strategies against homophobia and violence against lesbians and gay men have historically proven to be successful? What political, aesthetic, creative forms of education or criticism can be the policy of homophobia not only in Russia but also in other European countries subvert?

1 feb 2014 Together with LGBT Network Russia , Lasky and Side by Side load the Schwulenberatung Berlin , Quarteera , Berliner AIDS-Hilfe and German AIDS Help to the discussion on human rights in Russia by the example of anti-gay laws in the Red Hall.

Sochi Olympics

Not attending Sochi: French leaders, Netherlands’ Prime Minister, Moldovan president, Belgian and Flemish PMs, German President, Polish President, the Vice President of the European Commission. Vivian Reding, the vice president of the European Commission

Czech Republic President Says He’s Going for Athletes Not for Putin. Milos Zeman says that he will attend the Sochi Olympics because he was invited by his country’s national Olympic Committee but not because he was invited by Russian President Putin

Snowboarder Belle Brockhoff is only out lgbtq person at Sochi Olympics

Paul Goble 8 weeks to Sochi countdown

Sochi Residents Lack Heat, Clean Water and Electricity as Temperatures Plunge. Now that nighttime temperatures in Sochi are below freezing, residents who lack heat, clean water, and electricity are suffering more than ever before. The number at any one time is in the hundreds if not thousands, and some have been without these basic services for several weeks. In addition, schools and hospitals are in some cases without heat and light. The streets are icy making any venture out dangerous. Trash continues to pile up. Even internet connectivity has been sporadic in some sections of the city. And some residents say that what with the construction effort, which in many cases has led to the breaking of pipes and power lines on which they depend, their city has been thrown back to “the stone age” after a single winter storm. Some are even taking things into their own hands and building sewer lines away from their homes

Creation of Protest Zones in Sochi Gives FSB a Veto. The FSB proposed and Moscow accepted what the IOC may have proposed in private: Beijing-like protest zones in which activists could demonstrate if they gain the approval of the security agencies. The FSB cast this as a security measure, but activists said it almost certainly will be used to prevent any demonstrations or if that proves impossible to isolate them from most of the visitors to the games

Bloomberg Columnist Blames IOC for Not Blocking Russia’s Anti-Gay Law. Jonathan Mahler says that “the IOC probably could have stopped Russia from introducing its anti-gay legislation with a single threatening phone call from IOC President Thomas Back to Putin.” He added that the latest plan by Moscow which the IOC has “welcomed” is setting aside small spaces for any demonstrators. “This is how the IOC plans to deal with a 2014 Winter Games host country that treats gay people like drug dealers. If the concept sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve seen it before — no, not in the Warsaw Ghetto — at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.In order to protest, you had to obtain a government permit. Guess what? Not one of the dozens of applications filed by Chinese citizens was accepted … Even if protesters don’t wind up in a Siberian gulag, the zones aren’t exactly an invitation to free expression: ‘Come on out and be heard before we round you up!’”

Dec 12

LGBTQ in Russia and Customs Union countries

Russia
In an apparent reference to the laws banning “propaganda of non-traditional relations”, the Russian president said that on the international arena Russia sees itself as a defender of conservative values against what it considers an assault of “genderless and fruitless so-called tolerance” which he said “equals good and evil”.

Yuri Gavrikov, organizer of St Petersburg gay prides, on boycotting Sochi: “Boycotting Sochi. Supporting Sochi. Seems all discussion about boycotting Sochi by politicians are going to the logic end. I don’t like idea of boycott by athletes. I like idea of boycott by top-politicians. And recently we got confirmation from early birds boycotting Sochi. But I am happy from idea of Vancouver hosted previous Olympics in 2010 to send gay representative Tim Stevenson to Winter Sochi. If all cities will send gay politicians, celebrities as ambassadors it will show the real hope for the future changes in Russia. Here is the video with my short comment.”

Anastasia Smirnova, coordinator of the Russian LGBT Network, and journalist Masha Gessen on Democracy Now

Russian foreign minister says “sexual orientation” is too vague a phrase to use in legislation because it could include pedophiles: “’Recently, for example, an idea is being actively promoted that pedophilia is also a sexual orientation. For us it sounds blasphemous. Overall, we oppose the inclusion of references to sexual orientation in international legal instruments, including the UN resolutions,’ – said Gatilov.”

“Side by Side”: homosexuals and homophobes – report Victoria Lomasko

Kiselev implies that the gay German foreign minister was attracted to the Ukrainian opposition leader, who is a heavyweight boxing champ

Mr Kiselev insinuated that for Mr Westerwelle, who is in a gay marriage, meeting Vitali Klitschko, a world heavy-weight boxing champion and opposition leader, was a high point. ‘Heated or, perhaps, overheated by the heavyweight bodies,’ the minister said ‘Ukraine should be on the board of Europe because there is much that unites us: common history, common culture and common values’. The values of lesbians and gays in the EU is a favourite topic. But to say this on Maidan! That is a provocation.” Mr Kiselev cried out, painting the association and free trade agreement with Ukraine as one big attempt to impose gay values on Ukraine. Having painted a picture of chaos and violence, Mr Kiselev then gets to the “the script writers” – the West.  The past three weeks of protests, including the scenes of bloodshed on December 1st, according to Russian television, was a “co-production” between America, Europe and the Ukrainian opposition. The chief director of the show is America’s state department and Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state.  “The interests of people [in her statement] are only a bounty. The most important thing is the promise of chaos and violence,” Mr Kiselev wound up his audience and himself.”

Sergei Shakhrai offered to write the prohibition of same-sex marriage in the Russian Constitution

“I am a human being, not propaganda” photo project by Coming Out St Petersburg

first person account of being at Side by Side film festival by a German. “Within Russia, Sultanova sees the LGBTI movement even as avant-garde, because no other group in Russia would fight in so many ways and also internationally renowned for their rights. That which had developed over the past five years in the LGBTI movement in St. Petersburg, is enormous – especially concerning the support by heterosexuals. Even in the festival team are lesbians and gay men almost in the minority. Sultanovas outlook is rather modest: When developing Russia into a totalitarian state, you will probably end up in jail. But if the regime as far “only” authoritarian Outsmart, with political twists and small steps forward and back, the situation of LGBTI community would improve in the longer term. There is growing approach a new generation. Even the now hidden clubs would lose for the scene in importance, while the situation for lesbians and gays increasingly discussed in public and its protagonists were visible. We have repeatedly asked the question of what to expect from the West and this could be done if necessary. Veronica answers as modest as emotional: “The fact that you think of us and do not forget us. And the fact that you say that what we do is right, even if everyone says here around us, it was wrong “Manny de Guerre sums it short.” Bring the issue on the agenda, whenever and wherever you can!” original german text here

Belarus
No public pride events allowed in Minsk (Belarus) to recognize Human Rights Day on Dec 10

Igor Tihanyuk: Belarus is not just to live openly, but I want to show that I am – the same person as all

Minsk authorities banned the public shares Pride: Permission denied for formal reasons, the organizers of this [decry] violation of their civil rights

In Minsk on December 6  started Minsk Gay Pride 2013, however, instead of rainbow news, information about events related to the Gay Pride is more like police reports.

Armenia
This year, human rights march in Yerevan was a rare display of diversity and unity. Organised by opposition Armenian National Congress, today’s march was unique in a way it was able to unite people of various political, social and ethnic backgrounds, including anarchists, LGBT activists, feminists, with a wide rights agenda.

Western Activist and Political Responses on LGBTQ and other human rights issues in Russia

For LGBT major donors in the West, Russia is the new marriage

Former tennis star Martina Navratilova and former National Basketball Association player Jason Collins yesterday at the UN supported the campaign to eradicate homophobia and discrimination in sport.

Petition to IKEA: Support LGBT people in Russia

Human Rights First global summit in DC

The European Parliament expresses its grave concern at recent repressive laws and their arbitrary enforcement by the Russian authorities, often leading to prosecution of NGOS, civil society activists, human rights defenders, minorities and LGBT persons, and calls for the EU to express these concerns at all political levels; calls to release Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other political prisoners, and deplored the political use of Justice; urges the Russian authorities to impartially investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, Natalya Estemirova and Anna Politkovskaya, Stanislav Markelov, and Vasily Alexanian; regrets that the Council consider the recommendation of the Parliament from October 23, 2012 year Magnitsky case; calls on the Council, therefore, to take a decision on the establishment of a common list of EU officials involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky; adds that this Council should introduce targeted sanctions against those officials;

Are gay rights, and human rights more broadly, truly “geostrategic”? Second, do we as a country have the moral standing on gay rights to create, as the panelists repeatedly suggested, “teaching moments” with other states, with us in the role of teacher? Third, a closely related matter: do we intend to internationalize a newly acquired feature of our culture? Fourth, the most important of all, would Kirchick and Simonyi’s approach actually improve gay rights in places like Russia? … this would mean fighting Putin on ground where he clearly thinks he has the advantage. And it would confirm nationalist narratives that the decadent West wishes to impose its values on the Slavic world. To paraphrase Lenin, we would be heightening the contradictions between East and West. Those who favor friendly relations with the West but who hold traditional attitudes about sexuality might be driven away. It’s hard to see how all this is good for America’s interests—or for Russia’s gays.”

Kirchick piece on adding homophobes to the Magnitsky list

David Remnick will provide political analysis on NBC during the Olympics

Obama and Congress should boycott Sochi: Wash Post

EU Commissioner Reding Won’t Go to Sochi

Cultural and Psychological Wars in Russia

Pussy Riot to be Freed

Masha Gessen on the toppling of statues: “’When Dzerzhinsky was toppled,’ wrote one of the many Russian journalists to comment on a blog, ‘he spent time swaying beautifully in his noose, like an Olympic bear; he didn’t fall, he didn’t break into pieces, and no one jumped on him and ripped his head off. Whereas the Ukrainians have staged a frightful ritual execution of the stuffed Lenin. They have ripped him to shreds. I think it is now clear to all of us that they are not running to Europe: they are running FROM US! Run, brothers, run!’”

LRB: Since the return of mass protest in 2011, everything in the mood, though little in reality, has changed. The yawning youth have been actively politicised. The fear has retreated. There are protests and banners by Red Square quoting ‘for your and our freedom’. Pussy Riot invoke Brodsky and Sinyavsky. The small subscription cable and online channel TV Rain recently showed a whole series about the dissident movement.

The initiative of Duma member Elena Mizulina to enshrine a role for Orthodox Christianity in the Russian Constitution and the proposal by Civic Platform party leader Mikhail Prokhorov to adopt a special religious code greatly differed in style—but, according to author and analyst Alexander Podrabinek, both of them contradicted the principle of a secular state.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Russia in an interview with “The Wall Street Journal” complained that “conservative turn in the internal politics of” our country is alarming investors

Russian policy – not a public thing and very closed. But this policy has had a public person – President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov. What lies behind this person, why Peskovu entrusted this role and how it differs from its predecessors – versed The New Times *

Putin scraps RIA Novosti, reconfigures propaganda for foreign media markets: NYTimes, the BBC, TV Rain (opposition internet TV station), and Svoboda blog (US owned Russian language radio channel)
Editor in chief of RIA Novosti Svetlana Myronyuk goodbye to employees of the agency and explained the procedure to eliminate it. Video of management meetings with staff RIA Novosti was published on Youtube, but then access to it blocked. Later video posted on its website channel “Rain”.

Will Karabakh “Join” Russia’s Customs Union?
Armenia has made its choice between the two EUs — the European Union and the Eurasian Union– but will it bring its de-facto addendum, the breakaway territory of Nagorno Karabakh along with it into the Russia-plus trade space? Some analysts believe that Karabakh will indirectly end up enjoying the benefits of the Kremlin’s economic promised land.

ECHR decisions don’t govern Russia, says Constitutional Court

The Sochi Olympics

First snow topples roof of Olympic arena

Oh, no accident yesterday the President of Germany called on Russia to boycott the Olympics! Putin himself would have been happy to boycott in order to hide billionaire razvorovanie bins homeland. And, as they say, snow Putin embezzlers to help on the head:

Two months before the Games in jeopardy luge and bobsleigh starts

LGBTQ in the contested countries

Moldova press conference (video)

Ukraine
the anti gay wedge issue

Putin’s attempt at anti gay messaging has failed

Kiev protests/ the Euromaidan

Ukrainian oligarchs war it out behind the scenes, and EU oriented ones fund the protests

European politicians respond to the Maidan and debate Ukrainian EU accession

Putin: the door is still open for a trade deal: “Ukraine might even be allowed to join a free trade zone with the European Union while still maintaining the tight trading links with Russia that are crucial to the Ukrainian economy’s survival, Mr. Putin suggested. Striking a more conciliatory note than in the past towards Russia’s neighbor, he said simultaneous trade talks could be ‘complementary.’”

The Euromaidan according to Russian TV: the Atlantic and RFERL: “On December 8, as hundreds of thousands of angry demonstrators flooded Kyiv’s Independence Square to call for the government’s sacking — felling a statue of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin in the process — Russia’s Channel One reported that “only a few hundred people” had turned out and assured viewers that the protests were “dying out.”

Nine protestors arrested at the Euromaidan have been accused of violence

RT on the euromaidan

Video: Riot police using three buses blocked the entrance to Kiev city administration. Participants evromaydana use fire hoses to make their way.

Buzzfeed photo listicle on Euromaidan as political figures visit Ukraine: “Buses of protesters set out from several cities across the country for the Maidan, Ukrainian media reported. Lutsenko urged Ukrainians to come out Sunday for Kiev’s biggest demonstration yet, which he said would be a “Rubicon.” … It is here, on EuroMaidan, that European integration is happening,” Lutsenko said. “It is here that Ukraine is being built as a nation.”

Ukrainian human rights activists call to stop discriminatory rhetoric on Evromaydane

Contrary opinion: “Signing a deep association and trade agreement with a country in such dire political and economic straits was never in the best interests of the EU. The most important reason is that the credibility of Ukraine in fulfilling international agreements is zero. The history of relations between Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund — still smarting from the $15.4 billion loan it granted in 2010 only to see the government renege on the terms — demonstrates this all too clearly.  …. The EU should scale back its ambitions and aim for an agreement on ordinary free trade with Ukraine. The approximation of EU rules and standards — the element that would make the trade agreement ‘deep and comprehensive’ — can wait. The EU has grossly overestimated its positive power to transform backward countries. Ukraine saved the EU from a significant mistake. The focus now should be on the country’s economic fundamentals.”

“The System is Golem, a doll made of salt collected from our investments in it.  It still holds up because of our hopes and expectations put into it, because we do not believe in ourselves, and because of its role as a third party in regulating public affairs, a role we have given it. And its salt comes from our tears, from our deceived hopes, from our dead childhood dreams.”

Foreign Affairs: Revolution on Euromaidan: Yanukovych Seals His Fate — And Ukraine’s?

Slovakia deal with Ukraine over piping natural gas and bypassing Russia

Do all these protestors really want neoliberalism and austerity? “In their recent article, which provoked a rich discussion on this site, Sean Chabot and Majid Sharifi argue that nonviolent resistance in the tradition of theorist Gene Sharp often leads to trade liberalization. It’s a tradition that emphasizes opposing political authoritarianism (e.g., the EU over Moscow) rather than opposing the dangers posed by unrestrained capital. Chabot and Sharifi contend: “Sharpian scholars usually fail to mention that victorious strategic nonviolence has consistently produced political systems favoring global neoliberal capitalism, the prevailing imperiality in the twenty-first century.” As we seek to understand the uprising in Ukraine and draw lessons from it, some questions remain that resonate with resistance movements around the world. Is Ukraine’s ongoing civil resistance the kind that Chabot and Majid Sharifi warn against? Does the movement have to choose between Western trade liberalization or Putin-style authoritarianism? Or is there something it can do to confront both at once?”

Police encircle protest … leading to staring and pushing, not violence, at Euromaidan

“Kremlin threats could not be easily dismissed, since approximately 25% of Ukraine’s exports go to Russia and Ukraine depends on Russian gas supplies. But while important, these economic realities are not necessarily decisive. For starters, polls have shown that 45 percent of Ukrainians wanted to sign the deal with the EU, whereas only 14 percent wanted the country to join the Customs Union. Equally significant, many Ukrainian oligarchs, including some in Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions, supported the deal with the EU; they do not see much future for themselves in a Moscow-dominated Customs Union. What’s more is that at the Vilnius Summit, little Moldova, which also faced the same threats from Moscow, signed the trade association with the EU; Georgia has also successfully defied massive Russian punitive trade sanctions.”

Dec 8

LGBTQ in Russia and in Customs Union Countries

Russian artist and activist Irina Putilova seeks asylum in the UK. Petition here.

Arkady Mamontov on Russian TV: In Argentina, 17,000 sodomites came to the Cathedral to protest Pope Francis and want to burn the cathedral. In English here.
Event he referenced reported here

It Gets Better opens Russian operation

On Russian TV, Kiselev speculates on the issue of LGBT and sex. orientation of the German Minister of the Armed Forces, at 6:30 min.

Amnesty International Russia appeal: Please support LGBTI activists from Belarus Igor Tikhonyuk. Igor is undergoing treatment in hospital due to a stomach ulcer. To him came into the ward, two police officers and demanded that he followed them. At the police station he inflicted several blows, after which the police began to insult him by mentioning his sexual orientation, and threaten violence. The incident occurred in February 2013 shortly after Igor tried to register the Human Rights Center ” Lambda ” – an organization designed to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex ( LGBTI) people in Belarus. For cruelty to Igor no one was prosecuted. In Russian and English.

Armenia church priest calls for isolation of gays in ghettos, says he isn’t fascist (video is in Armenian, can’t translate it)

Russian pro soccer/football player interview: “Honestly, I’m against all gays. I have them for people not to believe. If someone says that it is the same people as you, you or you, but they love this … I despise these people, categorically against them. In my circle of these people do not, I would communicate with them [if I] could not.”  In English here.

Kiev Protests

Euromaidan Ukrainian opposition protesters toppled a statue of Lenin in central Kiev as hundreds of thousands took to the streets in the latest display of anger at the government’s rejection of closer ties with Europe. A group of protesters dragged down the statue on Sunday evening, taking turns to beat the fallen landmark.

Hayden Panettiere addresses Euromaidan with her fiancé, the brother of prominent opposition leader

Ukraine Opposition Fears Provocation to Justify Crackdown

LGBT group photo at Euromaidan here

Photo gallery of euromaidan on Sunday Dec 8

First three days: first person reports on the Euromaidan

Pianist at the Euromaidan

Russian TV Scrambles To Play Down Ukraine Protests Sunday’s anti-government protest, which attracted several hundred thousand people, may be the largest in Kiev yet, but Russian reporters are withholding the truth. One man even interrupted a reporter to hand him an Oscar “for his coverage.”

Religious leaders’ opinions on Ukraine politics, parties, trade, loans, EU association agreement etc

Saakashvili greeted rapturously at Euromaidan in Kiev

The Sochi Olympics

Sochi corruption— long and detailed work of investigative reporting on ridiculously expensive construction projects, updated December 6

German president to boycott Sochi Olympics

The World Cup

Brazilian soccer players on Saturday warned that a strike is “imminent” and criticized the game’s domestic ruling body for refusing to negotiate to avert action that would disrupt league matches next year.

Europe challenges Gazprom pipeline

Gazprom deal to build “South Stream” pipeline is now experiencing new European “recommendation”: “The European Commission is recommending that all European Union members who have signed agreements with Russia’s South Stream natural-gas pipeline project renegotiate the terms of their deals. Marlene Holzner, a spokeswoman for EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, said on December 5 that the agreements signed with Russia’s Gazprom contradicted European legislation. ‘We have looked into the intergovernmental agreements [IGAs] that were made between the member states through which South Stream would flow through and Russia, and we have seen that on a number of very important core issues of our energy market, these core principles are not reflected in the IGA and that is why we have advised those member states to renegotiate these IGAs,’ Holzner said.” (RFERL) This is widely viewed as a response to the Russia-Yanukovych dealmaking.

LGBTQ in the Region and the Diaspora

1. Moldova
One student’s European adventure with gays and dormitories (in Romanian)

2. Ukraine
Pro-government demonstrators deployed a new tactic Friday to counter protests in favor of European integration, marching through the capital, Kiev, to oppose homosexuality, which they said would accompany a greater European Union role in Ukrainian affairs. Carrying religious icons and singing hymns, the group of about 1,000 Orthodox Christian supporters of President Viktor Yanukovych filed out of a monastery and marched to a city park. Marchers said they favored allegiance to Russia rather than Europe because Russia more closely matches the cultural and religious heritage of Ukraine, which was once part of the Soviet Union. They intend to draw attention to what they characterize as overly liberal European social values, they said. In neighboring Russia, state-controlled television, which can also be viewed in parts of Ukraine, has put the spotlight on European liberalism in the context of the Ukraine crisis by broadcasting clips of a Swedish television show intended to explain bodily functions to children. After showing excerpts, the Russian host, Dmitri Kiselev, said the show explained why ‘early sex is the norm’ in Sweden, and then concluded, ‘There you have European values in all their glory.'”

3. Diaspora
Demo for Belarus LGBT in USA: Washington-based Spectrum Human Rights held a picket in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus on Saturday December 7, demanding the authorities to allow Belarus holding Gay Pride in Minsk write Facets LGBT. In Russian and English

Dec 7

Russian LGBTQ News

Migrant rights group issues guide for Russian LGBTQ migrants

Elton John dedicates Moscow concert to murdered gay man. Video.

Asylum case for gay man from Ulan Ude. Full text of 9th Circuit decision here

Peter Pomerantsev in FT (behind a paywall): The Kremlin spent $1billion on soft power hate campaign against “Euro Sodom”  and RT English language TV with its anti Western POV. “If soft power is about making oneself attractive to foreigners, this is a reversal: the Kremlin makes itself into the west’s cultural bogeyman to augment its position at home and in the near abroad as a crusader battling the forces of ‘Euro-Sodom.”

5 ways to be Putin’s pocket gay 

A new St. Petersburg based antigay group emerged on a popular Russian social network Vkontakte has launched an on-line campaign offering an equivalent of $150 for reporting “confirmed” information on LGBT schoolteachers. The group aims to stop “gay propaganda to minors” in schools and dismiss gay teachers with the help of local authorities.

Interview with Gus van sant on Side by Side film festival. English link here

Masha Bast: “Russian society is sometimes portrayed as being focused on the Russian Orthodox Church but this is a society which also became atheist and sent men into space. Russians aren’t particularly attached to any political ideology. But they are drawn to undivided authority, autocracy, imperialism and patriarchy… When these ties are loosened, as they were 1917 and 1991, Russia’s constituent nations leave as soon as possible. For this is not really one country but many different types of peoples tied together through authority. It is only through the code of ‘For Faith, Tsar and Empire!’ rulers have managed to maintain the integrity of Russia.”

Aggregation site for protest news and political opposition analysis.

Although few European countries are considering any kind of boycott of the Sochi Games by their athletes, few European politicians are likely to attend lest they offend LGBT groups in their own countries, according to Moscow’s “Nezavisimaya gazeta”

Ukrainian protests at “the Euromaidan” and diplomacy and trade/gas/loan conflicts

Euromaidan for dummies

Tweets by Edward Lucas of the Economist claim that Customs Union deal is signed; cause international incident

Oligarchs battle behind scenes

Russians ask themselves if similar protests could happen there

Ukraine about to undergo currency crisis 

RFERL on “Who’s Who In Ukraine’s ‘EuroMaydan’ Protests”

Historian Tim Snyder on Euromaidan: this represents one major historical moment coming to an end, another seeming to

The Ukrainian left’s news aggregation page in English

Veterans of war in Afghanistan are standing to protect people of #ukraine from police attacks at #euromaidan

Both the supporters and opponents of an EU-Ukraine association agreement appear to think that such an accord means that Ukraine will soon be a member of the European Union, but that is not so, Aleksey Shiropayev says. And a continuing failure to understand that could lead to disaster in both Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

Peter Storm on Ukraine protests (extremely astute left analysis)

Political scientist Julia Gray on the political economy of EU regulation vs Russian style business practices

US public radio segments on Euromaidan: Brian Lehrer on WNYC and OnPoint on WBUR

OpenDemocracy: A way out: A new mission should consist of active politicians and should work to a much shorter timeframe, and their mandate should include not just a peaceful solution to the present crisis but a guarantee of a fair and free presidential election in 2015. It will probably only be after this election that Ukraine will be able to sign its Association Agreement with the European Union.

The Sochi Olympics

Ad age: How Bundled-Up Winter Olympians Can Try to Match Summer Games’ Star Power Fewer viewers… fewer sports … less exposure

Paul Goble’s invaluable 9 weeks to Sochi Countdown aggregation (links below are from his work)

Photo blogs show that Sochi is still a mess, unprepared, full of illegal trash dumps, and inaccessible for people with disabilities

Mikhail Delyagin, a Moscow commentator, says that the number of foreign tourists who will come to the Olympic probably won’t exceed 20,000, a fifth of the original estimate and a third of the number of foreign volunteers and athletes. Like many others, he suggests that many of the security measures that Moscow has taken appear more directed at the political opposition than at those who might engage in terrorist actions

Both officials and residents say that many houses, schools and even hospitals in Sochi and environs have been left without electricity, water and heat, the last being a particular problem as temperatures fall to below freezing

In a report that proves “life is the best anecdote,” Russian officials are purchasing snow-making machines produced in Israel in case the weather does not cooperate at the time of the Olympics

FSB Breaks with Putin on Demonstrations in Sochi. The Russian security service is proposing to allow certain protests to take place in Sochi during the Olympics if organizers secure permission from the authorities. That proposal simultaneously reverses the FSB’s own earlier position and puts it at odds with Russian President Vladimir Putin who has ordered that there not be any demonstrations there before, during or immediately after the games. One reason the FSB may have changed its position is that its officers may hope to get information on groups that had planned to have demonstrations despite Putin’s ban

Ecologist’s Case Postponed Until December 19. Yevgeny Vitishko, an ecologist in the Ecological Watch on the North Caucasus, had his appeal delayed again, this time until December 19. He was earlier sentenced to three years incarceration apparently in retaliation for his coverage of violations of Russian law by those building a dacha for President Vladimir Putin

Russians Fear They May Not Get Pensions after Sochi. Many Russians are expressing concern that their government will not have enough money to pay them their pensions because of its spending on Sochi. Officials say their worries are misplaced but acknowledge that cutbacks and sequesters are entirely possible because of economic difficulties.

The World Cup: Brazil 2014, Russia 2018, Qatar 2022

ESPN Fury, anarchy, martyrdom: Why the youth of Brazil are (forever) protesting, and how their anger may consume the World Cup.

Newsweek reprint of 8×8 magazine (a new soccer magazine) on the Qatar World Cup creating headaches for FIFA

The Russian government has put out a 20 billion rubles ($612 million) tender to reconstruct Moscow’s iconic Luzhniki Stadium, the venue for the 2018 World Cup football final.

Opposition Mayor Objects to Stadium Construction Plans for 2018. In a demonstration of the problems that Moscow would face if Russians elected mayors from opposition parties, Yevgeny Roizman, one of their number who is now mayor of Yekterinburg, has objected to a 380 million US dollar plan to renovate an existing stadium for the 2018 World Cup, arguing that “it would be cheaper” to build a new arena in a different place. He said he plans to make that proposal to the governor of his region

Brazil plans ‘World Cup courts’
Country set to take South African-style measures as concerns rise that demonstrations will flare up during tournament

US-Russia relations

Susan Rice insists that LGBT rights is important to the State Dept’s mission, in Russia and other countries

National Interest: How to calibrate US interests in the EU-Russia contretemps over Ukraine

LGBTQ in the region

EU countries
Croatia may lose a billion euros because of gay marriage ban
Dario Cepo on Croatian marriage ban referendum in Washington Post: low turnout, changing laws about referenda

Kazakhstan: outrage about rumored recruitment of youth via Kaznet.  bill to ban “promotion of homosexuality” is in legislature

Armenian psychologists promote biased pseudoscience on queer and trans experience

Ukraine
Openly gay German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle went to Kiev and visited the protesters on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. In particular, he walked on the Maidan and greeted people. In turn, Westerwelle welcomed maydanovtsy loud chants, according to “The Telegraph”.

Russian tabloid expresses ridicule when Ukrainian opposition meets with openly gay German foreign minister Westerwelle