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

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Nov 30

Representatives of a coalition of Russian LGBT rights organizations called on International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach during a Saturday meeting in Paris to break his silence on Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” law.

Mr Thomas Bach
President
International Olympic Committee

30 November 2013

Written communication submitted at the meeting between President Bach and representatives of LGBT organizations on November 30, 2013 in Paris

Dear President Bach:
As human rights organizations that are working extensively for LGBT equality in Russia, in continuation of communications that we and our international partners have had with the International Olympic Committee about the incompatibility of the Russian discriminatory practices and polices targeting LGBT persons with the Olympic values and principles, we now reaffirm our grave concern regarding the absence of a clear statement and action by the IOC to uphold the values of non-discrimination and respect of human dignity.
The recently adopted ‘anti-propaganda’ legislation, as well as the public debate it has evoked, has already created an extremely hostile climate for LGBT persons in Russia. The ‘propaganda’ law is degrading in its nature, ascribing explicitly, in the national legislation, a fundamentally different status to LGBT persons, affirming their social inequality. This highly discriminatory regime triggered an increase of organized violence against LGBT persons and their allies, which has been extensively covered in the media throughout the past several months.
We believe that this legislation and the environment infringe and debase the Olympic values, and the IOC is in the unique position of both power and responsibility to ensure that the Winter Olympics 2014 do not embrace discrimination and violence against LGBT persons.
We reiterate the calls by numerous organizations and national officials for the IOC to publicly express support for those in the Olympic movement who speak up for basic human rights of LGBT persons; to condemn discriminatory laws and policies in the host country; to create a safe space for LGBT athletes and allies at the Games through establishment of a ‘Pride House’; and to leave a legacy of explicit inclusion of sexual orientation in the non-discrimination policies.
We are aware of and are gravely concerned with the fact that the IOC does not acknowledge the urgency and necessity of this action, reiterating and endorsing vague assurances by the Russian government of non-discrimination at the Sochi Games.
While we appreciate your assurance that the IOC is committed to non-discrimination, we believe that everyone in the Olympic Movement should have a clear and well-informed understanding of the legal implications that exist in Russia in relation to the basic rights of LGBT individuals.
We ask the IOC to accompany these assurances with a clear commentary about the impact of the ‘anti-propaganda’ legislation on the Olympic movement and the 2014 Winter Games with respect to the following questions:
•Should two individuals of the same sex either hold hands or kiss in public, would that be seen as contravening the law? As a legal matter, would the public dissemination of such same-sex attraction by television, newspaper or internet impact the legal response of Russian authorities?
•Would a person be sanctioned or arrested for wearing “Gay Pride” or similarly themed clothing or accessories, or clothing items/accessories containing an LGBT-related insignia? Again, does it matter whether these LGBT insignia are captured and disseminated by the media or on the internet?
•What would happen should a person speak in favor of the equal treatment of LGBT persons – whether publicly or in what was intended to be a private conversation?
•Can athletes, spectators, or citizens speak affirmatively and positively about their family/ partnership if their family/ partnership is same-sex? Can they do so in communications with the media?
•Would a reporter asking questions related to the law be accused of violating the law?
•Would a reporter interviewing spectators under 18 years old who identify themselves as homosexual about their life experiences related to this identity be accused of violating the law?
•Would positive media presentation of same-sex families/ partnerships/ relationships, or LGBT identities of athletes, spectators, or citizens be considered a violation of the law? If so, who would be accused – interviewees? Media companies?
•Can Olympic athletes or spectators sport LGBT-themed apparel or pins, including officially-licensed London2012 rainbow pins or any other similar products out there from London2012? Can Russian citizens do so?
•Can athletes, spectators or citizens carry Gay Pride flags?
•Can athletes, spectators, or citizens distribute pamphlets concerning the human rights of all individuals, including those in “non-traditional sexual relationships,” as a reflection of both their beliefs and their rights to freedoms of opinion, speech and expression?
•Would a child be taken from a couple if that couple either was or appeared to be gay or lesbian?
•Would children who have been adopted by lesbian or gay individuals or couples be allowed to enter the country?
•Can an LGBT athlete speak affirmatively and positively about their sexual orientation in pre- or post-competition interviews?
•Can a parent of an LGBT athlete – Russian or foreign – speak affirmatively of his/her child, including with reference to that athlete’s sexual orientation or gender identity, in pre- or post-competition interviews?
•Can media coverage of the Games include examination of Russia’s discriminatory legal climate directed against LGBT people? Are foreign and Russian media companies/ reporters treated differently?
•Are private sector companies not free to include same-sex couples in their advertising related to sponsorship of the Games? Are they permitted to include pro-LGBT messages of solidarity in their advertising? Are they allowed to have Pride-themed designs for their products?
•Is there a distinction in how any of these scenarios would be handled (a) within the Olympic Village, (b) in the broader Olympic security zones in and around Sochi, or (c) outside of those zones?
•Would the response to any of these questions differ depending on the citizenship of the individual(s)? Would foreign nationals be treated differently, inasmuch as the law specifies different penalties for foreigners?
With respect to the mission and role of the International Olympic Committee ‘to cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity’, ‘to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement’, and ‘to promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities and host countries’, we ask you to obtain from the Russian authorities clear and detailed commentary to each of the above questions before the Sochi Olympics, and as soon as possible, as the present lack of clarity is conducive to the games failing to respect the Olympic Charter. In vein of the mission of the IOC, it is crucial that these questions are answered with respect to both foreign and Russian citizens, and both the Olympic games period and the future.
Only such investigation and communication of its results to the public will allow athletes, spectators, reporters, and everyone else involved in the Olympic movement to understand how their involvement will be influenced by the national legislation in the host country and how the Olympic principles of non-discrimination and respect of human dignity are upheld in Russia.

Sincerely,
Anastasia Smirnova,
representing a coalition of LGBT organizations:

Russian LGBT Network
St Petersburg LGBT organization ‘Coming Out’
Side by Side LGBT Film Festival
Russian LGBT Sport Federation
Arkhangelsk LGBT organization ‘Rakurs’
Out Loud project

Human Rights First called on the White House to include prominent American LGBTs and their allies on the official US delegation. In a letter to Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Barack Obama, the group said that “the selection of the members of the official U.S. delegations for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics is an important opportunity to signal to Russia and the world the priority the Obama Administration places on equality and human dignity. Those selected for the honor of representing the United States will project the values of our country on the global stage”

Mm attacks X Factor star in the Ukraine

As the Ukrainian regime turns violent, fears of becoming a second Belarus in Eastern Europe

The Ode to Joy is sung at the Euromaidan

Ukrainian goalkeeper takes political position pro EU association

Is a third way possible for Ukraine?

Brighton demo

Court labels Center for Gender Studies in Saratov as a foreign agent

Sochi Countdown: 10 weeks until the Olympics
Putin Says Sochi Contractors Will Have to Work Through New Year Holiday
Half of Vneshekonombank Loans for Sochi Need to Be Restructured or Written Off
Kozak Concedes Gastarbeiters Remain But Pledges to Remove Them
Russian Journalists in Sochi Treated Far Worse than Foreign Ones
West Using Circassian Cause ‘to Liberate Caucasus from Russia,’ Moscow Analyst Says
Circassians from Around the World Come to Hamburg Exhibit
Circassians Demonstrate in New York’s Times Square Against Sochi Games
Moscow Acknowledges Circassian Opposition to Sochi Games
Sochi Residents Collectively and Individually Increasingly Angry at Russian Authorities
Russian Officials Continue to Delay Ecologist’s Trial
Authorities, Population Clash Over Environmental Protection
Sochi Organizers Say Prices Won’t Go Up During Games – But They are Going Up Now
BlogSochi Editor Detained for Trying to Photograph Tunnel
Russian Bankruptcy Law Putting Sochi Apartment Buyers into the Streets
Polish Deputy Calls for EU Boycott of Sochi Games
Olympic Construction Breaks Same Water Main for a Second Time
Russians Say Terrorist Acts and Protests Likely in Sochi
Islamists Arrested in Moscow Said Preparing to Attack Sochi Games
Moscow Analyst Describes Sochi as “Muddied and Bloodied Aquarium of Conflict.’
Sochi Games Seen Boosting Russian Shares Before Hand and Then Sending Them Down
Moscow to Spend Another 300 Million US Dollars on Opening and Closing Ceremonies
Moscow Holds Back 30 Percent of Olympic Tickets for Russian and Foreign Delegations
Only KPRF Backs Protests against Illegal Trash Dumps in Sochi Region
Putin Games about Corruption and Banditry, Golts Says

On Customs Union expansion

Time uses AP story on Arkady Mamontov

More than 143,000 Russians have died from HIV-related illnesses since records started being kept, a federal AIDS research center official said Thursday.

Of the 131,000 new cases of HIV reported in the European region in 2012, 102,000 occurred in Eastern Europe, with 76,000 of those cases reported in Russia, accounting for almost 60 percent of new infections, according to the data which was released ahead of World Aids Day on Dec. 1.

Nov 29

Riot police in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, have forcefully dispersed hundreds of protesters, beating some with truncheons, witnesses say.

Italy will be the only country allowed to adopt children from Russia because it does not recognize gay marriage, a Kremlin official said Friday. “It turns out that Italy is currently the only country whose citizens are able to adopt Russian children because, first of all, this country refused to recognise same-sex marriage, which, for its part, does not require Russia to change the existing agreement, and, secondly, (the Italians) abide by the terms of this treaty. That is all,” Children Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov told Russia’s Interfax news agency. “It is not our fault. (Other countries) should work harder if you want international adoption to continue.”

The development of shale gas and power in Ukraine would further threaten export markets which Russia has taken for granted for decades. If Ukraine were within the EU, or on a long path towards membership, Gazprom’s stranglehold would be that much more likely to be threatened, not least because the prospect of accession would reduce the risks for potential investors.

Members of the conservative organization World Russian People’s Council (WRPC) Youth Club supported proposal made by the representatives of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly to revoke distribution certificates of films participating in the “Side by Side” LGBT festival.

Undoubtedly, it was an uncomfortable moment. President Viktor F. Yanukovich of Ukraine, who last week ditched plans to sign far-reaching political and trade agreements with the European Union, found himself confronted last night by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and by the host of the summit meeting here, President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania.

New petition for visa bans and asset freezes on anti LGBTQ politicians

SBS Dateline (Australia): See the devastating consequences of Russia’s new anti-gay law, where people now live increasingly in fear of arrest or attack.

New Nike ad campaign “play Russian” Produced by Imperial Woodpecker, for Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam.

New social media campaign #GayPropaganda

Spectrum Human Rights and LGBT-Assistance (Russia) activists came to the Mayer Brown law firm offices in Washington, DC to hand over an inquiry regarding Mr. Nikolay Mizulin who is employed as one of the Mayer Brown lawyers in their branch in Belgium.

A federal appeals court has ordered immigration officials to review their decision not to grant asylum to a gay man who said he was attacked for his sexual orientation in 2002 and 2003 in his native Russia and feared he would be persecuted if forced to return there.

The Lithuanian Parliament takes step towards law protecting antigay speech from any liability. It rejected the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights to disapprove this controversial legislative initiative (29 votes in favour, 33 votes against, and 14 abstentions). Now the amendment will be considered by the Committee on State Administration and Local Authorities. It will already be the sixth committee that will consider the above-mentioned proposal.

The Soviet-era dissident Natalya Gorbanevskaya has died in Paris aged 77.
Gorbanevskaya was arrested for taking part in a 1968 protest in Moscow’s Red Square against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Nov 28

New fund for lgbt Russian NGOs

Perovskiy District Court of Moscow dismissed the participant of Trans Coalition Jan Sitnikova to satisfy the request to invalidate the refusal of the registrar Perovsky registry office in Moscow in the state registration of name changes.

AIDS service organizations want to reach out to Russia Vladimir Putin virtually

A federal appeals court has ordered immigration officials to review their decision not to grant asylum to a gay man who said he was attacked for his sexual orientation in 2002 and 2003 in his native Russia and feared he would be persecuted if forced to return there.

Coffin covered with rainbow flag was symbol of “burying” the association agreement at anti EU demo by fascist group. Men were dressed as a worker, a miner, a medic, a farmer. Organizers claimed these sectors would suffer in case of signing the association. The costumed men carried a symbolic “coffin of European integration.”

Russia’s resort to blackmail and homophobia is a sign of imperial decline, says Russian editorialist “Ikhlov notes that 70 years ago, the Nazis used anti-Semitism as their last defense of opposition to Western democracy and that today, Moscow is shouting “gay, gay, gay” in much the same way. It didn’t have to be this way, he suggests. Russia could have made itself more attractive and even presented itself as having a special link with Ukraine.”

Ukraine crisis is big business vs the individual

And also younger generation vs older
“We are now witnessing a generational rift in Ukraine,” says Yaroslav Hrytsak, a Lviv-based historian. “Young Ukrainians resemble young Italians, Czech, Poles, or Germans more than they resemble Ukrainians who are 50 and older. This generation has a stronger desire for European integration and fewer regional divides than their seniors.”

Blog update by San Franciscan at film fest

Debunking Russian myths

Nov 27

On Tuesday, November, 26, activists of Spectrum Human Rights, RUSA LGBT and LGBT-Assistance organization handed over a joint petition addressed to the Dutch Ambassador Rudolf Bekink, asking to clarify the Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister’s statement that gays are not discriminated in Russia he made earlier this month.

Milonov entraps LGBT Film Festival using minors: he had 3 Orthodox 17 year olds pose as 18 year olds, get in to “Blue is the Warmest Color” screening, and then reveal themselves as underage to media. Milonov filed police report accusing the festival of violating ban on gay propaganda to minors. Side by Side stated that “all the festival activities carried out passport control at the sessions are not allowed viewers under 18. Verification of documents held in three phases – the first time the guards at the entrance, then the audience passport check when purchasing tickets at the box office, and then – if necessary – at the entrance to the auditorium.”

The St Petersburg Times report is worth quoting at length:

Anti-gay Legislative Assembly deputy Vitaly Milonov, representing the pro-Kremlin party United Russia, attempted to break into Jam Hall movie theater on Petrograd Side as a fourth bomb threat was placed against the Side by Side festival on Tuesday, Nov. 26. He arrived at the 8 p.m. screening of Blue Is the Warmest Color, which was preceded by a speech by British Consul General Keith Allan, minutes after the start of the film and tried to enter the theater with about 20 anti-gay protesters. Milonov was prevented from entering by the festival’s security guards and police. Milonov stated to police that he had received a report that ‘children’ were present at the screening of the ‘pornographic’ film about an ‘old prostitute Adele’ and demanded the police let him in to check the papers of those present. Despite being part of the festival the film, which won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes film festival, is being screened independently in city movie theaters this week.

About 20 minutes into the screening two young women left the cinema and showed their passports to the anti-gay protesters and the media standing outside so they could see their birth dates. They claimed that they were 17 years old, had got in without their age being verified and walked out due to the film’s ‘sheer depravity.’ Five minutes later a young man exited the cinema, also claiming that he was 17 years old. Milonov announced that he would file a report with the police about the violation of the law protecting children from information harmful to their health and development.

Speaking to the Fontanka.ru website, Milonov admitted the minors belonged to the Young Guard, United Russia’s youth wing, but denied that that he was behind the incident. ‘The teenagers went there on their own, voluntarily, as members of the youth organization,’ Milonov is quoted as saying. ‘They are partially capable, because they are over 16, and believe that they are cleansing the city from a pest. This is a stance.’

Earlier, anti-gay nationalist groups announced a ‘total gathering’ near the ‘homo movie theater’ to stop the festival, but only about 20 activists showed up.

In a statement on Wednesday, representatives of Side by Side said they were ‘indignant at the fact that teenagers are being used by Milonov and his associates to entrap [the organizers]’ and would file a report with the police over his ‘exploiting children by involving them in illegal and fraudulent activities.’

Video of Milonov speaking to TV reporters from film festival… the insulting tweets he sent about the festival before going in person: “Deputy Milonov condemned Side by Side via social media as being a festival of ‘pedophiles, homosexual creative workers and foreign agents [posing as] human rights activists. … ‘The festival should be stopped,’ Milonov wrote on Twitter. ‘If perverts are anxious to watch so-called films about their ilk, they can go to Paris.’ He also condemned [St. Petersburg human rights commissioner Alexander] Shishlov for taking part in the opening. ‘Ombudsman Shishlov took part in a sodomite and pedophile get-together,’ Milonov wrote. ‘He has mistaken the perverts’ sexual urges for human rights. He has mistaken St. Petersburg for Sodom. I want to invite Shishlov to the Legislative Assembly and ask him what country he is working for.’ ” (St. Petersburg Times) … Milonov asked city council Minister Vladimir Medina to ban lgbt film fest as propaganda to minors… and filed a police report against film fest: St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly deputy Vitaly Milonow submits an application to the police on the organizers of the LGBT festival. According Milonova at last yesterday, November 26 session of the film “Life Adele” within the LGBT festival “Side by Side” was attended by minors, which, among other things, showed beer advertising.

the organizing committee of the film festival “Side by Side” made a statement saying they will investigate Milonov for “using adolescents [in] provocations” against LGBT Film Festival movie [and] take him to court for calling the festival audience “perverts and pedophiles” on twitter.

In Mykolaiv/ Nikolaiv (city in southern Ukraine), a school teacher has frightened children, distributing leaflets saying that in the EU, childrens’ organs are distributed to gays.: “The school number 51 of Nikolayev teacher of fifth graders spread leaflets [frightening] children by the fact that after the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association, they will be given to homosexuals for organ harvesting and for filming in porn movies.” According to one reader, the full text leaflets talk about video cameras in public toilets to follow, whether men urinate sitting down, and emergency crews euthanasia, which [supposedly] go around at night in the Netherlands.

Valery Zorkin, the Chairman of the Russian Federation Constitutional Court, in his speech dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, made remarks about the potential risks of imposing “nontraditional” novelties of sexual and gender “emancipation” which might impact integrity of the Russian sociality and statehood.

Overview of Russian lgbtq situation and uncertainties of solidarity work from Western lgbtq “Very often, LGBT people are depicted as unpatriotic and fifth-column, and this is where Putin is playing a big role. He likes to divide society and to manipulate these groups to maintain his control. He needs to create external and internal threats,” says Igor Iasine.

In Crimea, burned plastic stuffed gays: in Simferopol near the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, a rally was held in support of the Ukrainian Cabinet’s decision to suspend European integration, and in support of calls to Ukraine’s accession to the Customs Union. During the action, the participants set fire to two plastic male mannequin lying on each other. To one of them was attached a poster reading “No gay marriage!” According to TSN, mostly elderly people came to the rally with placards and national flags of Ukraine. The posters were the inscriptions: “Do not let them dictate the terms of Europe”, “Sami build Europe in Ukraine” “save the economy of Ukraine”, “Crimeans for Ukraine’s national interests,” “No need to be sold – to work” and “For the Customs Union.” See video here:

New OP video shows young gay man kicked in the head, falls down unconscious, and new trans “capturing” video

Buzzfeed: Sochi Will Be The Most Expensive Olympics Ever — And It’s Not Even Close

Bloomberg on Russian oligarchs’ crankiness about Sochi: Sochi 2014 might as well be renamed Putin 2014, says Scott Antel, a partner at DLA Piper LLC in Moscow, who has worked on hotel projects in the region. Antel says Putin twisted billionaires’ arms to get the Olympics off the ground in return for letting their companies run their quasi-monopolies. [now] The government is demanding that the country’s biggest companies stand firm on commitments to bankroll the games

report on Russian funding of Ukrainian homophobia (in German)

the TV channel “Russia 1” distorts information about events at euromaidan (Kiev protests) (VIDEO)

Visitors to Red Square in the past few days have found themselves confronted by a giant Louis Vuitton trunk, seemingly perfect in every detail and so big that it dominates Moscow’s most iconic space and almost blots out other familiar features such as Lenin’s tomb, St. Basil’s cathedral, and the Spassky Tower.

A photograph of an Italian journalist posing with a pro-gay flag on Red Square moments before a run-in with police has gone viral online, drawing new attention to Russia’s attitude toward gays and bringing unexpected fame to the writer.

Gay.ru on central station (Moscow gay bar) gas attack

Gay.ru on hiring homeless to carry rainbow flags at euromaidan
In English and in Russian: “[protestors] carried banners reading ‘Rooster – it’s a bird, not a man’, ‘Europe = Homo’ and other samples of creativity.”

In the Volgograd regional court yesterday on trial Vlad Tornovogo – murdered on the grounds of homophobia no matter whether he was gay. In the news – not a word ….

Michael Kimmelman on Rio development as World Cup approaches “But the port redevelopment is mostly a commercial real estate deal, another example, critics complain, of a government in thrall to developers, with a new Museum of Tomorrow (whatever that may be), shaped like a giant flailing isopod, designed by Santiago Calatrava, yesterday’s architect. There is no real master plan, no guarantee that what’s good and worth preserving about the urban mix of the existing port won’t be sacrificed to a sea of office towers. Recent promises by the mayor to insert 2,000 units of public housing are belated and vague, announced to appease detractors while not upsetting investors. … A concrete complex of theaters, raised sky high on giant piers, the [city center] may be the most absurd new building in years. It can bring to mind that famous Stonehenge gag from the film “This Is Spinal Tap,” in which a design for a rock concert stage-set mislabeled feet as inches — except the proportions here are reversed. People in charge complained to me about whole sections of unusable seats without views, ineptly designed stages, halls without dressing rooms, windswept plazas and staircases going nowhere.”

NYT: Ukraine in Turmoil After Leaders Reject Major E.U. Deal

Nov 25

At the Kiev euromaidan, someone distributed rainbow flags to homeless people and paid them 100 USD each to march with the flags

Yesterday, November 24th, in the morning in the formation of columns protest the “European Belarus” to the participants came to about 50 homeless people with flags LGBT movement (the colors of the rainbow – gazeta.ua) and orange “For Evromaydan.”
Most of the participants were dressed in dirty clothes, some were drunk, say protesters. People met their cries of “provocateurs” and “shame.” They silently walked past rows of “Fatherland” and “Freedom” in front of the University. Shevchenko.
“This is a provocation, skip column provocateurs” – all the way they were accompanied by a man with a megaphone.
“We are for a healthy society, and so mischief. So we hired at the station, so we walked with the flags. I did before came here, did not know what they mean. Once the guys said that they also hired to walk with such flags, then beat them. We were given 50 hryvnia, has promised to give 50 then. Plus gave a bottle of vodka, “- said one of the participants afterwards.

photos here

Documentary Highlights Corruption in Sochi Construction
A documentary about extortion and threats surrounding the construction of the Sochi Olympic Village is slated to premiere in Moscow next month, despite what its producer said were attempts to bribe her into canceling a screening at a European [amsterdam] film festival this week.

“Putin’s game”: the authorities are trying to outbid a film about corruption in Sochi.

On side by side film fest, Gulya Sultanova

Four part (so far) diaries from St Petersburg Side by Side fest from Ed Wolf, one of the main people profiled in We Were Here, the documentary about gay men and AIDS in San Francisco. Ongoing.

Russians are best aware of the law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors (72%) , least of all – the adoption of the law on foreign agents NGOs (30%). More than half of citizens (59%) are aware of the limitations of anti-piracy measures on the Internet, half of the respondents – about toughening responsibility for rallies and insults of religious believers’ feelings.

Read in the Russian news media that “gay activists attacked Elena Mizulina in Leipzig”, many were surprised that this lady has invited in a decent position. In fact, the conference “For the future of the family,” which I arranged the protest, was in no way a decent place – it was a bunch of right-wing radicals, neo-fascists, anti-Semites and supporters of all sorts of conspiracy theories, that none of our current policies did not go and could not go at all. Of course, this was not on the marginal event and representatives of the Catholic and Protestant churches in Germany.

I was on the Compact Conference and it was disgusting
Stefan Lauer

Svoboda piece on Leipzig conference where Mizulina spoke

Dangerous Liaisons. Elena Mizulina as conductor of Western influence

Sochi project in the New Yorker

[Russian speaking] LGBT Activists Stage Kiss-In At Brooklyn Ikea To Protest Store’s Lesbian Scandal In Russia
“Instead of supporting Putin’s anti-gay terror, [Ikea] was supposed to stand up for us,” one of the organizers said.

Kiev takes a Timeout

Pro Ukraine photo meme uses quote from far right antigay politician

To support Yevromaydan
November 25, 2013, Kyiv – Ukrainian Charitable Organization “Fulcrum” expresses its support for Ukraine’s European aspirations. We also express our solidarity with all citizens who choose to enter the action peaceful protest and express their support for the European integration course.

Gay star news on gas attack at Central Station in Moscow

DC demo for Russia

Arsène Wenger has added his voice to the growing concern about conditions for migrant workers in Qatar, the host nation of the 2022 World Cup. The Arsenal manager has urged Fifa to put enough pressure on the Qatari government to address the kafala system, which ties workers to their sponsors and has been heavily criticised from a human rights perspective.

Brothel raids endanger Rio’s sex workers

Slovak Who Praised WWII Fascist Leader Wins Election

Nov 24

1. In the night of November 23 a well-known Moscow gay club “Central Station” was again under attack . Unknown malefactors sprayed some harmful gas inside the club among about 500 attendees. Several people sought medical attention but refused to go to a hospital.

Visitors metropolitan gay club “Central Station” for the fourth time they tried to poison gas

“In Moscow gay club ‘Central Station’ unknown sprayed gas. At this point in the room, there were about five hundred people. Employees of institutions failed in a few minutes to deal with gas using smoke machines. As reported by LifeNews, several visitors asked for help from doctors, but refused hospitalization. According to CEO Andrew Leszczynski places, this is the fourth case where the visitor places trying to poison him. ‘This is the fourth provocation against the club arranged by unknown persons. We believe that they are connected with the building owner’ he said. ‘Spray the gas in the premises of the club, thereby trying to express his extremist views against the LGBT community, who likes to visit our club.’ The club’s management intends to apply to the police to deal with the incident, to find intruders and prevent such actions.”

2. Attackers second time “undermine” venue LGBT Film Festival movie “Side by Side”. Threats of violence are pouring in social networks.

Sunday morning: @sidebysideff: #IMPORTANT Today screenings will not be! We take a break for #one day to solve some organizational issues. Stay tuned for updates. #RT

3. Putin has lost control of non state actors. “It seems even Putin understands that control of the situation in the country is lost, and at any time before February 2014 can be brutally murdered or tortured even any foreign or Russian citizen that may entail disruption of the Sochi Olympics.”

4. HRW on anti trans law in Ukraine “Order No. 60 of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health Protection requires transgender people to first undergo 30 to 45 days of confinement in a psychiatric institution to be diagnosed with ‘transsexualism.’ Having children under 18, being married, or disagreeing with the volume of surgeries required by law all stand in the way of something that should be straightforward: obtaining a passport with one’s true name and gender recognized.”

5. Euromaidan protest in Kiev draws 100k… ends in rioting, tear gas, and tent city construction

Images and Photos. Power Vertical podcast on Vilnius; Russian poster on Ukraine’s choice EU vs Russia. Interactive cartoon on Vilnius

6. Consequences for moldova of Ukraine’s choice
” If [ukraine] decides to join the customs union with Russia, says Mr Leanca, it will be ‘more difficult for us to resist pressure.’ One source of that pressure is Transnistria where Russian soldiers are stationed. The leadership of Transnistria wants Russia to recognise it. ”

Lithuanian expert: Transnistria was created to control the destiny of Moldova

7. Mike Bohm on “My Clash With Homophobes on Russian TV

 

8. Minky Worden in Washington Post: Russia’s anti-gay laws threaten the Olympics’ character

9. International financial services corporations may pressure or boycott countries where gays are discriminated against
“‘We are probably not there yet but I think in some of these markets we may reach a tipping point where corporates will say we are not prepared to do business in this market.’ Jeff Davis, a managing director at Barclays Bank, revealed he was surprised by pleased his firm took a strong stance against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill – dubbed the Kill the Gays Bill in Uganda. Bank executives met with Ugandan government leaders to speak against the legislation which has now stalled again. And Colin Grassie, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank UK, indicated that intervening in homophobic and transphobic countries is now relatively common. He said: ‘We have talked to regulators, we have talked to politicians and we have talked to people in authority and we have said we know you have a starting point and it does not dignify you. ‘It is not consistent with global standards so you are sub-standard.'”

10. On November, 23 activists blocked the Leipzig Globano conference center entrance as a start of the protest staged in Germany against conference of the right wing magazine “Compact” with participation of homophobic Russian MP Elena Mizulina, main lobbyist of the gay propaganda to minors ban law, Alexey Kozlov reports.

Video

11. The Svoboda party in Ukraine is homophobic, nationalist, far right, anti Semitic and anti Russian. But pro EU.

12. Che Guevara In The Caucasus
Armed only with four bumbling communists, 26 bottles of wine, some Soviet catnip, and $200,000 that may or may not have existed, a lone wolf lawmaker from Georgia tried to start a revolution in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. It didn’t quite go as planned.
To viewers of Russian state television, he is a criminal mastermind from a rogue state who uses witless activists as pawns in dastardly plots against the Kremlin. To Mikhail Saakashvili, the man who was president of Georgia for nine years until Sunday, he is “our benign merchant Che Guevara,” selflessly spreading Western ideas of freedom and democracy to the darkest corners of the former Soviet Union. To Russia’s embattled opposition, he is a dangerous provocateur whose meddling all but unraveled their movement just at the moment when Vladimir Putin began to crack down.

Givi Targamadze, a doughy, slightly graying Georgian member of parliament who speaks Russian with a molasses-thick accent and laughs in seal-like whelps, seems an unlikely candidate for all these roles.

13. New book to highlight ‘Well Managed Cover-Up’ Of Ukrainian Famine