August 8

Coming Out St. Petersburg on the Olympics (welcoming the attention, opposing the boycott).

Stephen Fry letter

media censorship of blogs documenting environmental, labor, & displacement problems in Sochi:

Very sad and painful interview with Masha Gessen on moving her family to the US

Stanford Static pieces





All Erika’s essays

On the Russian LGBTQ vs those elsewhere

Aug 9

the Russian controversy may influence the internal IOC presidential election in September.

the Puerto Rican candidate has already chimed in on the lgbtq topic.

August 11

More from Masha Gessen

On Occupy Pedophilia
“Maxim Martsinkevich is probably the place to begin. Nothing about the 29-year-old would-be architect’s page at VK, Russia’s answer to Facebook, suggests a particularly distinctive skinhead. He goes by his nickname, ‘Tesak,’ variously translated ‘machete,’ ‘cleaver,’ or — my favorite — ‘slasher.’ He likes steroids, protein shakes, pointless displays of masculinity (three videos show him having a tooth pulled minus anesthetic), and Adolf Hitler. Yet he’s quite innovative as Nazis go. Early in the Putin years, he was the driving force behind Format18, a violent group that called itself the ‘armed wing’ of Russia’s National Socialist party.

“Format18 regularly assaulted immigrants and dark people. Its creativity lay in deciding that visibility — movie cameras coupled with social media — was not its enemy, but its friend. It filmed the attacks, turning them into imitation music videos that went viral on YouTube and VK. Google ‘Format18’ and ‘funny’ and you’ll figure out why: their savage sense of humor. ‘Lol, I love those videos,’ one European neo-Nazi says. ‘It’s funny when they beat people up then burn their passports.’ Some of the videos showed murders.”

August 12

NYT story

On backlash but I’d love to be proven wrong.

“A Western boycott of the Sochi Olympics might serve some purposes beyond Russia. It would show gays and lesbians in the West that they are broadly respected. It could also theoretically discourage populists and authoritarians in other countries from exploiting hatred. But it would probably not improve the plight of gays in Russia. Putin’s spokesmen would cast such a boycott as a slap in the face not just for the Kremlin but for all of Russia, an arrogant attempt by Westerners to impose their postmodern values on an Orthodox society. Indeed, such advocacy from the outside could end up making Russia’s own LGBT citizens seem even more foreign.

Consider the recent scandal involving Pussy Riot. A campaign of international pressure that enlisted celebrities from Madonna to Paul McCartney did not win the imprisoned performers any leniency. But it did help a highly vulnerable Putin regain his balance. Before the Pussy Riot arrests, Moscow had been engulfed by popular anger at an election that many believed had been stolen. Overnight, the topic of conversation changed from electoral rights to the right of feminist collectives to perform, uninvited, in Orthodox cathedrals.”

Alex Gabriel take on some of the British coverage

August 14

The Unwitting Agents of the Imperial Order
The Wishful Thinking Left
A must-read by Jean Bricmont on CP. Humanitarian Imperialism:”The latest example of these tactics is the attempt by Western governments to use the LGBT community as ideological storm troopers against Russia and the Winter Olympics, in a transparent effort to deflect public attention from the embarrassing fact that, in the Snowden affair, it is Russia and not the U.S. that is on the side of freedom. It is to be feared that the humanitarian interventionist Left will jump on the bandwagon of this new crusade. Yet, as Gilad Atzmon has pointed out, with his usual slightly provocative style, it is unlikely that this will do any good to the LGBT community in Russia, since this sort of support allows their opponents to brand them as bearers of foreign influence. It is not a good idea for any minority, anywhere in the world, to be seen as agents of a foreign power, and least of all, of a government so hated for its arrogance and its interventionism as the present U.S. administration. And incidentally, the people who call for boycott of the Winter games in Russia had no objection to holding the Olympic games in London, which implies that, in their eyes, taking anti-gay measures is a serious crime, whereas wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are mere peccadillos.

People who succumb to the illusions of revolutionary romanticism or who side with the apparent underdog, regardless of the underdog’s agenda, are being taken in by the tactics of present-day imperialism. But those who aspire to a more peaceful and more just world order, and who think that a precondition of this order is the weakening of U.S. imperialism, easily see through this camouflage. These two different world views divide both the Left and the Right: liberal interventionists and neoconservatives on one side, libertarians, paleoconservatives and traditional leftists on the other, and it may call for new and heterodox alliances.”

Aug 16
Russian state spin “”First, they said that the Olympic objects are being built on Circassian cemeteries, even though they didn’t know who the Circassians were. Now, they’ve invented this situation with sexual minorities,” he said, using a common euphemism for the LGBT community, calling all of it “a real information war.”” From

‘For a decade now, no international pressure has been able to make Putin tremble. As long as the West was slavishly dependent on the country’s vast natural gas and oil resources, the President could pretty much do as he liked. Russian politics run ‘on conventional oil and gas,’ the Economist says, and ‘Vladimir Putin is in essence the CEO of Russian Energy Inc.’ Recently, Russia’s fuel exports have been declining, and with them the profit machine. Why dump vodka, when Russia’s engines run on more precious liquids?”

August 17

Pole vaulter

The anchor who was fired for coming out tells CNN he opposes boycotting the Sochi Olympics. the footage for this is on huffpo

August 19

The UN chimes in

RT report on parallel debate and law in Lithuania which is already an EU member Moldova seems to be in the middle of similar struggle.

August 20

Interview with Russian LGBT Network’s Igor Kochetkov. interestingly Kochetkov chose Spanish language media for an intvu –this is first ive seen

A German interview translated into English

August 21

Great suggestions from chess master Garry Kasparov (and more on the politics of analogy)

People keep saying “boycotts work” and “boycotts don’t work.” The only accurate statement is “boycotts work sometimes with very specific political and economic conditions in place and a clear strategy articulated in advance.” There was a conference on boycotts at birbeck at the u of London this summer. The first of these links is a paper from there. It compares Bds in South Africa to the current one re Israel. Finding the current one lacking. Another compares Cuba and South Africa. The takeaway from the first (for me) is that absent a strong mass mobilization and united leadership on the ground. Lots of material for the stages 2 and 3 that boycotts are supposed to herald:
it reinforces this article on the specific political and economic vulnerabilities of apartheid:

August 23

Masha Gessen on Chris Hayes on MSNBC

Janani on Russia

August 26

More proposed antigay legislation

Masha Gessen on her family and moving to the US in Slate

August 28

Michael Lucas of NYC LGBT center fame argues that Alekseev’s recent RT op Ed means that Alekseev is now being paid off by the regime

August 29

yesterday Alekseev threatened to hire a contract killer on Lucas if Alekseev’s 72 yr old mother died from the stress. @n_alexeyev: If my 72yo mum dies because of @MichaelLucasNYC article I will personally hire a contract killer to kill him. He will not get unpunished. He also re tweeted this @QueeRevolt: @n_alexeyev this self loathing whore @MichaelLucasNYC needs to shove a gun in his self loathing ass & pull the fucking trigger #DumpStupid

August 30

On “ambush marketing” and the Sochi Olympics … Seems like the profiteering extends beyond the official sponsors or that lots of companies make money off of the Olympics without subsidizing them

Anti Semitism redux plus Alekseev’s claim that it was all a social experiment


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