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!’”

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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

Dec 4

Russian LGBTQ news

On November 20, 2013, “Coming Out” LGBT organization lodged its first complaint to the European Court of Human Rights against discrimination and violation of LGBT rights to freedom of assembly.

Russian state continues its prosecution of LGBT Organization “Coming out”. Having failed in its attempt to bring administrative action against “Coming Out” for not entering the registry of foreign agents, the [government] attorney office sued second time – now with civil suit. According to the prosecutor it brings harm to indefinite range of persons that “Coming out” is not in the registry. Court session scheduled on December 4.

In the first conviction under Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, a court in Arkhangelsk has found two LGBT activists guilty of promoting “non-traditional” relationships to minors and fined each of them 4,000 rubles ($120). The Constitutional Court found the ban on “gay propaganda” to be constitutional.

Gus van Sant‘s talk at the Side by Side film festival. A woman writes of her anger that a pro Putin artist was present. (article in English here.) Two photo sets of closing ceremony with awards.

Milonov proposes that Russia grant visas to homophobes “spiritually oppressed” in other countries.

Ukrainian pro EU protests — aka the “Euromaidan”

Ukrainian Protesters Block Central Bank

NATO and European politicians have expressed their support for Ukrainian anti-government protesters, disputing a statement by President Vladimir Putin that the demonstrations in Kiev represented “not a revolution, but a pogrom.”

Masha Gessen on Russian opposition envy of Ukrainian protests

Kasparov tweets on Ukraine

Possible call for general strike in Ukraine to protest pivot towards Russia

The 11 demonstrators detained Monday while picketing the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow have been released, protest participant and co-leader of the RPR-Parnas party Boris Nemtsov said.

Russia claims Euromaidan in Kiev is an anti Russian pogrom

Some observers criticize the EU’s trade and loan terms offered to Ukraine:

1. Sean Guillory
Thoughts on Ukraine. Also: Ukrainians’ favoring the association agreement with the EU might turn that relationship into a false promise, reading possibilities into the association agreement that aren’t actually there.

2. Mark Adomanis
5 things you should know about Ukraine. Also: “the European Union isn’t just having a bad year, it has been economically stagnant for the better part of a decade. Per capita incomes in the EU are essentially unchanged since 2006. And unemployment in the EU has been on a remorseless rise since 2008, and there is no end in site.”

3. Moscow Times editorialist
“But both positions miss the point of Ukraine’s decade-long instability as it totters between pro-Russian and pro-European groups of roughly the same size. Both Russia and the EU have marched in headlong pursuit of their own geopolitical and economic objectives, exacerbating willy-nilly the local tensions.”

4. Nicolai Petro in NYT

Russian influence on the region and regional migrants within Russia

Russian pressure on Moldova continues

Nineteen people have been killed and 168 others have been injured in ethnically charged attacks in Russia so far this year, a think-tank that monitors xenophobia and extremism said in a report released Tuesday.

LGBT and the Olympics

Johnny Weir’s talk at Barnard and the Queer Nation protest outside

Longer version of meeting between IOC head Bach and Russian LGBT in Paris

NYT on Principle 6

LGBTQ in the region

1. Ukraine
Kolesnichenko and Co. continue to keep watch to save “family values” from the European Union (VIDEO)
Six members of the Party of Regions proposes to amend the text of the Association Agreement with the EU, and these changes are aimed at “protecting the institution of family and traditional values ​​in Ukraine.”

2. Armenia
Today, the 2nd of December in Yerevan is crowded protest against Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union so-called dedicated to the visit of Russian President Putin to Armenia.

A well known brave activist Lala Aslikyan brought a rainbow flag, symbol of LGBT rights movement, to the protest march in Yerevan

3. Belarus
Belarus: Article on gay man wins German award

4. Moldova
Gay rights could be major hurdle for Moldova’s EU bid
Moldova’s lack of protection for the LGBT community, which says it faces constant abuse and discrimination, is out of sync with EU standards for minority rights.

5. EU member states: Croatia and Lithuania
Croatians back same-sex marriage ban in referendum

Antigay laws in Lithuania

6. Georgia
Special advisor on EU matters recommends that Georgia look to example of Poland, where government changed popular prejudices on LGBTQ