Dec 12

LGBTQ in Russia and Customs Union countries

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

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.

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)

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.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s