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

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