Feb 10

LGBTQ in Russia and Customs Union countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan)

Lgbt arrests on day of opening ceremonies for unpermitted demo with banner quoting Olympic charter

Anastasia Smirnova Facebook post about being arrested

IOC defense of arrests

Lena Klimova letter to lgbtq youth

WPost on increased enforcement of propaganda ban

Slon infographic on uptick in gay propaganda prosecutions

Oleg Dusaev and his boyfriend Dmitriy Stepanov, excerpt from Gay Propaganda

Masha Gessen on Chris Hayes

Dazed Digital story

Some buzzfeed profiles: 7 LGBT do solo protests without getting arrested and lgbt far from the cities with photos

Russian pro lgbt comedy video

Antigay pseudoscience in Russia

Letter from IOC to Russian lgbt about progay speech and action at the Olympics

HRW on activists in profiles in courage

Russian gays’ ambivalence about Western response

pictures of Russian lgbtq activists

Laurie Essig on queer academe in Russia

Heavy handed western media hurts Russian LGBTQ, says Russian state TV channel RT

Putin tells lgbt to stop being aggressive and seeking attention

LGBTQ in contested countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia)

On stigma and gay bias against gender non conforming lgbt in ukraine

Art exhibit in Kiev

Kiev Protests/ the Euromaidan

Foreign affairs: Ukraine is disrupting message Putin wanted Sochi to send

Victoria Nuland recorded saying “fuck the EU”

Civil Society and Political Opposition in Russia

TV Rain is being closed by cable carriers refusing to carry it

Filmmaker Alexander Sokurov open letter to Putin on TV rain being closed by government pressure (in Snob)

Arrests of political opposition/ pro democracy activists on day of opening ceremonies

Miriam Elder on pussy riot

Pussy riot letter about Nadya and Masha

Crackdown on environmental activists

Dmitry Berdnikov, leader of the civil society movement ‘Against crime and lawlessness’ was detained this morning at Kazan airport while going through passport controls. ‘I was about to fly to the Olympics in Sochi, said Berdnikov in a call to the Kazan bureau of the Novaya gazeta newspaper. I have tickets to the games. I had already checked in my luggage and went through registration, but when I was boarding the plane I was stopped by police officials. They told me that one of the pages of my passport was damaged. Now I am at a police station. The plane has already taken off’.

Arseny Roginsky interview: What is Memorial?

Western Activist, Civil Society, Celebrity, and Governmental Responses to Russian LGBTQ Crisis

200 authors, including Salman Rushdie, oppose gay propaganda ban and blasphemy law

Hunted on Channel 4 Dispatches in UK

Twitter takeover: pro lgbt activists hijack “#cheerstosochi hashtag

Western demonstrations during the Opening Ceremony (per Anastasia Smirnova)
Vancouver, Canada
Berlin, Germany
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lisbon, Portugal
Ottawa, Canada
San Antonio, USA
New York, USA
New York, USA: debut of tracksuits by AK Burns, Jibz Cameron, TM Davy, Christian Dietkus, Scott Hug, Casey Legler, Kalup Linzy, Michael Mahalchick, Ryan McNamara, Robert Melee, Lucas Michael, Wardell Milan, David Mramor, Jack Pierson, Colin Self
Berlin (and probably other cities in Germany)
Paris, Nantes, Marseille, France
Manchester, UK
Washington, DC, USA

Video for Russia Freedom Fund with inaccurate/exaggerated information about laws in Russia

Norwegian commercial with lesbian kiss

Jim Hodges video of countries with flags and sentences for gay related activity

Funny or die video

Yelena Goltsman profile in tablet

European Parliament statement against antigay laws

Sochi Olympics

Racist tweet from woman who lit Olympic flame

Sochi liveblog on The Interpreter

Window on Eurasia – last Countdown to Sochi

Ban Ki Moon speech against homophobia

Fred Weir (CSM) on Western leaders non attendance

The 7 openly gay athletes at Sochi (all women)

Austrian lesbian ski jumper Daniela Iraschko-Stolz says Western reaction to Russian law is exaggerated (video in German but dubbed into Russian)

Power Vertical special episode of podcast on Sochi

Future Olympics and the World Cups (Brazil 2014, Russia 2018, Qatar 2022)

Brazil World Cup: lack of transparency in planning process foils protesters

Geopolitical Context

Foreign Affairs: why putin insists russia organic part of Muslim world

Putin and obscurantism

Relationship between GDP and homophobia

Stephen Wood on rethinking entry points into sexual rights advocacy

“the Russian Turn”: laws in African countries to ban pro gay speech or political association/ organizing. Divestment and aid conditionality arguments.

PRA on “beyond Russia”

Ian Scott Horst in Kasama Project on imperialism and homophobia in Africa

Nigerian antigay law in BBC and NYTimes. Whisper campaign in Nigeria to round up potentially gay men. NY Times editorial on Nigeria. Washington Post editorial on Nigeria. Guardian profile of the lgbt activists in Nigeria.

Creative time on living in fear in Uganda. church where lgbt Ugandans find a haven

The US-Based International Social Conservative Movement

Stop Scott Lively

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Dec 7

Russian LGBTQ News

Migrant rights group issues guide for Russian LGBTQ migrants

Elton John dedicates Moscow concert to murdered gay man. Video.

Asylum case for gay man from Ulan Ude. Full text of 9th Circuit decision here

Peter Pomerantsev in FT (behind a paywall): The Kremlin spent $1billion on soft power hate campaign against “Euro Sodom”  and RT English language TV with its anti Western POV. “If soft power is about making oneself attractive to foreigners, this is a reversal: the Kremlin makes itself into the west’s cultural bogeyman to augment its position at home and in the near abroad as a crusader battling the forces of ‘Euro-Sodom.”

5 ways to be Putin’s pocket gay 

A new St. Petersburg based antigay group emerged on a popular Russian social network Vkontakte has launched an on-line campaign offering an equivalent of $150 for reporting “confirmed” information on LGBT schoolteachers. The group aims to stop “gay propaganda to minors” in schools and dismiss gay teachers with the help of local authorities.

Interview with Gus van sant on Side by Side film festival. English link here

Masha Bast: “Russian society is sometimes portrayed as being focused on the Russian Orthodox Church but this is a society which also became atheist and sent men into space. Russians aren’t particularly attached to any political ideology. But they are drawn to undivided authority, autocracy, imperialism and patriarchy… When these ties are loosened, as they were 1917 and 1991, Russia’s constituent nations leave as soon as possible. For this is not really one country but many different types of peoples tied together through authority. It is only through the code of ‘For Faith, Tsar and Empire!’ rulers have managed to maintain the integrity of Russia.”

Aggregation site for protest news and political opposition analysis.

Although few European countries are considering any kind of boycott of the Sochi Games by their athletes, few European politicians are likely to attend lest they offend LGBT groups in their own countries, according to Moscow’s “Nezavisimaya gazeta”

Ukrainian protests at “the Euromaidan” and diplomacy and trade/gas/loan conflicts

Euromaidan for dummies

Tweets by Edward Lucas of the Economist claim that Customs Union deal is signed; cause international incident

Oligarchs battle behind scenes

Russians ask themselves if similar protests could happen there

Ukraine about to undergo currency crisis 

RFERL on “Who’s Who In Ukraine’s ‘EuroMaydan’ Protests”

Historian Tim Snyder on Euromaidan: this represents one major historical moment coming to an end, another seeming to

The Ukrainian left’s news aggregation page in English

Veterans of war in Afghanistan are standing to protect people of #ukraine from police attacks at #euromaidan

Both the supporters and opponents of an EU-Ukraine association agreement appear to think that such an accord means that Ukraine will soon be a member of the European Union, but that is not so, Aleksey Shiropayev says. And a continuing failure to understand that could lead to disaster in both Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

Peter Storm on Ukraine protests (extremely astute left analysis)

Political scientist Julia Gray on the political economy of EU regulation vs Russian style business practices

US public radio segments on Euromaidan: Brian Lehrer on WNYC and OnPoint on WBUR

OpenDemocracy: A way out: A new mission should consist of active politicians and should work to a much shorter timeframe, and their mandate should include not just a peaceful solution to the present crisis but a guarantee of a fair and free presidential election in 2015. It will probably only be after this election that Ukraine will be able to sign its Association Agreement with the European Union.

The Sochi Olympics

Ad age: How Bundled-Up Winter Olympians Can Try to Match Summer Games’ Star Power Fewer viewers… fewer sports … less exposure

Paul Goble’s invaluable 9 weeks to Sochi Countdown aggregation (links below are from his work)

Photo blogs show that Sochi is still a mess, unprepared, full of illegal trash dumps, and inaccessible for people with disabilities

Mikhail Delyagin, a Moscow commentator, says that the number of foreign tourists who will come to the Olympic probably won’t exceed 20,000, a fifth of the original estimate and a third of the number of foreign volunteers and athletes. Like many others, he suggests that many of the security measures that Moscow has taken appear more directed at the political opposition than at those who might engage in terrorist actions

Both officials and residents say that many houses, schools and even hospitals in Sochi and environs have been left without electricity, water and heat, the last being a particular problem as temperatures fall to below freezing

In a report that proves “life is the best anecdote,” Russian officials are purchasing snow-making machines produced in Israel in case the weather does not cooperate at the time of the Olympics

FSB Breaks with Putin on Demonstrations in Sochi. The Russian security service is proposing to allow certain protests to take place in Sochi during the Olympics if organizers secure permission from the authorities. That proposal simultaneously reverses the FSB’s own earlier position and puts it at odds with Russian President Vladimir Putin who has ordered that there not be any demonstrations there before, during or immediately after the games. One reason the FSB may have changed its position is that its officers may hope to get information on groups that had planned to have demonstrations despite Putin’s ban

Ecologist’s Case Postponed Until December 19. Yevgeny Vitishko, an ecologist in the Ecological Watch on the North Caucasus, had his appeal delayed again, this time until December 19. He was earlier sentenced to three years incarceration apparently in retaliation for his coverage of violations of Russian law by those building a dacha for President Vladimir Putin

Russians Fear They May Not Get Pensions after Sochi. Many Russians are expressing concern that their government will not have enough money to pay them their pensions because of its spending on Sochi. Officials say their worries are misplaced but acknowledge that cutbacks and sequesters are entirely possible because of economic difficulties.

The World Cup: Brazil 2014, Russia 2018, Qatar 2022

ESPN Fury, anarchy, martyrdom: Why the youth of Brazil are (forever) protesting, and how their anger may consume the World Cup.

Newsweek reprint of 8×8 magazine (a new soccer magazine) on the Qatar World Cup creating headaches for FIFA

The Russian government has put out a 20 billion rubles ($612 million) tender to reconstruct Moscow’s iconic Luzhniki Stadium, the venue for the 2018 World Cup football final.

Opposition Mayor Objects to Stadium Construction Plans for 2018. In a demonstration of the problems that Moscow would face if Russians elected mayors from opposition parties, Yevgeny Roizman, one of their number who is now mayor of Yekterinburg, has objected to a 380 million US dollar plan to renovate an existing stadium for the 2018 World Cup, arguing that “it would be cheaper” to build a new arena in a different place. He said he plans to make that proposal to the governor of his region

Brazil plans ‘World Cup courts’
Country set to take South African-style measures as concerns rise that demonstrations will flare up during tournament

US-Russia relations

Susan Rice insists that LGBT rights is important to the State Dept’s mission, in Russia and other countries

National Interest: How to calibrate US interests in the EU-Russia contretemps over Ukraine

LGBTQ in the region

EU countries
Croatia may lose a billion euros because of gay marriage ban
Dario Cepo on Croatian marriage ban referendum in Washington Post: low turnout, changing laws about referenda

Kazakhstan: outrage about rumored recruitment of youth via Kaznet.  bill to ban “promotion of homosexuality” is in legislature

Armenian psychologists promote biased pseudoscience on queer and trans experience

Ukraine
Openly gay German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle went to Kiev and visited the protesters on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. In particular, he walked on the Maidan and greeted people. In turn, Westerwelle welcomed maydanovtsy loud chants, according to “The Telegraph”.

Russian tabloid expresses ridicule when Ukrainian opposition meets with openly gay German foreign minister Westerwelle

Dec 4

Russian LGBTQ news

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

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

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

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

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

Ukrainian pro EU protests — aka the “Euromaidan”

Ukrainian Protesters Block Central Bank

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

Masha Gessen on Russian opposition envy of Ukrainian protests

Kasparov tweets on Ukraine

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

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

Russia claims Euromaidan in Kiev is an anti Russian pogrom

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

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

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

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

4. Nicolai Petro in NYT

Russian influence on the region and regional migrants within Russia

Russian pressure on Moldova continues

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

LGBT and the Olympics

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

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

NYT on Principle 6

LGBTQ in the region

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

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

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

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

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

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

Antigay laws in Lithuania

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

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 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 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.

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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