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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