GLR Forum

General Forum => GLBT General Topics => Topic started by: Feral on Fri, May 12, 2006, 07:24

Title: Russia
Post by: Feral on Fri, May 12, 2006, 07:24
I have, of late, been trying to find some information on this story (

On the 3d of May members of faction of the far right party “Rodina” (Motherland) has prepared a project of a new law against homosexuals. The first hearing of the law can be as early as June.

The main idea is to forbid open gays and lesbians from working in schools, universities, medias as well as key positions within the army and the police.

Sadly, this proposed law is not being much discussed in the news sources available to me. Does anyone else know anything about it?

In the process of looking for it though, I did stumble upon this disturbing article by Dmitry Lytchev ( published May 27, 2002:

Two years ago when I warned readers in my article "Russian gays facing dictatorship of homophobes?" that the Yeltsin era's rulings will be recalled by Russian gays as the most liberal, and that from Vladimir V. Putin's phrase "Dictatorship of the law" that only the first word would remain, I was certain that an assault on human rights would not keep us waiting for long. 

Among other things, the article contains this letter:

Having escaped from the Russian Kaliningrad to Belgium and seeking asylum there, Arkady Vasilevsly wrote the following letter to the Queen of Belgium, quoted here in part:

"Your Majesty, our city Kaliningrad is an enclave separated from the rest of Russia. This has allowed the creation of structures that violate human rights. At present there is a real holocaust in our region -- police units openly persecuting gays. Lately this persecution has expanded . There are now executions.

"This campaign is headed by the colonel Emelyanov and the special police department created by him. Because of the steps they've taken, the number of faded lives can be counted in tens. Gays are enduring physical and psychological assaults. Many fake cases have been generated and, as a result, the innocent are subjected to imprisonment lasting between 10-14 years. The gay prisoners are held in inhuman conditions, assaulted by the prisoners and by prison personnel. Many commit suicide.

"This evidence is thoroughly hidden from human right organizations. I have also been discriminated against, persecuted and horribly tortured by these rulers. I was arrested and imprisoned. After my imprisonment I was in the hospital for a while where I was given the degree of disablement. The condition of my health has exploded, and I am currently in the distinct degree of dystrophy. My mother attempted to defend my rights but the prosecutor's office sent her to the mental hospital. Only because of a miracle and with the help of my friends I was given the chance to escape to the Kingdom Of Belgium. I arrived here in the condition of the strongest depression and melancholy. After my escape, the police openly announced to my mother that they'd shot me after an 'attempted' escape."
Arkady Vasilevsly

Title: Re: Russia
Post by: K6 on Fri, May 12, 2006, 12:32

The precedents embodied in the past history of Russia are not encouraging.It has never been a democratic country,and I don`t think it will retain
the western characteristics it has acquired after the demise of the Soviet Union.That goes for the decriminalization of homosexuality.In Russia,they never seriously adhered to it,so it will not last.The same way it didn`t last long the last time it was decriminalized,in or around 1918.It was made a crime againt and in 1934.Throughout the history of Russia,the rulers never encountered the type of opposition which in the west lead to,say, parliementary democracy,trade unions and personal freedom,after centuries of evolution.

Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Sat, May 13, 2006, 08:47
Up to date, I was not able to locate any contens of the proposal on “prohibition of propaganda of homosexuality” submitted by Alexander Tschuyew from the Party “Rodina”. As soon as there will be details in the Russian press, I will report here.

The persecution of homosexuals in Russia is not really a matter of centuries, as it was in Europe and in the Colonies. In the Soviet time, the Article 120 was often used to eliminate politically unconvenient opponents.

“In 1934, consensual sex between adult men was declared a criminal action. Untill 1993  gays were imprisoned under article 121, although in the ninethies only few men were actually imprisoned. It is obvious that, in essence, the article 121 was used as the method of political pressure. Between 1930 and 1980, approximately 1000 men were condemned and sent to camps yearly. At the end of 1980th the numbers began to decrease. According to the Russian Ministry of Justice, in the year 1989, 538 people were sentenced under article 121, in 1990 - 497, in 1991 - 462, in the first half-year of 1992 - 227 people. At the moment of the cancellation of article 121 on 27 May 1993, some 73 men were incarcerated exclusively for the voluntary sexual relations with adult men, and 192 men were incarcerated under this und other articles.”

First attempt to re-install the criminal persecution for consensual sex between men was undertaken in the year 2002 (, in my free translation:

“ The deputies of the pro-president centrist fractions Rogozin, Bulavinov, Mutsoyev and Makhachev in 2002 submitted a legislation proposal - as it is separately said, "not foreseeing additional expenditures, covered by the federal budget". Deputies proposed to supplement criminal code of Russian Federation with new article 131-1: "the unnatural satisfaction of sexual need of man with man (“pederasty”) is punished by deprivation of freedom for a period from one to five years". The discussion in the Russian society of this homophobic initiative of politicians endured for approximately 2 years. On 28 May 2004, Deputies of the Duma refused correction of the criminal code RF, suggested by the party "Peoples Deputy". For the adoption of the bill voted 58 deputies (with 226 voices being required), 34 voted against, 1 restrained from voting. The remaining deputies simply ... did not regard it necessary to participate. "If we do not support today these corrections, tomorrow we, possibly, will be confronted with law proposals about the legalization of unisexual marriages", stated Gennadi Raikov at the sitting of the Parliament. He, by the way, does not leave the attempts to revive his initiative, in particular, indicating formal mistakes in the procedure of voting.”

The current initiative of Alexander Tschuyew from the Party “Rodina” clearly interdepends with the attempts of Russian gay activists to organize the first Gay Pride in Moscow this year. The Russian Orthodox Church, neo-fashists and several populist parties are very actively trying to turn public opinion against gays and lesbians in an effort to prevent further liberalization known from the West. Unfortunately, the general public still regards homosexuals as inferior creatures, and the Moscow’s Mayor intends to prohibit this year’s Pride (in the year 2002 Lushkow has already cancelled the Parade). On 15 May 2006 the initiators of the Moscow Pride are planning to submit their official request for the demonstration – soon we will know whether they will succeed or not this year.

The distribution of seats in the Russian Parliament (Duma) makes it extremely unlikely that the suggested legislation, whatever its exact wording might be, will be accepted. Major party is the “United Russia” of President Putin, and its current policy does not include active oppression of gays. This time, there is no real reason for panic, as without “OK” from the President no laws are passing the Parliamint in Russia. Unfortunately, who can guarantee that in the time after Mr Putin such a law might not be introduced really?

Interstingly, the criminal Code of the Russian Federation includes an anti-discrimination statute (article 136). In my free translation it reads as follows:

Chapter 19. Crimes against the constitutional rights and the freedoms of man and citizen

Article 136. Disturbance of the equality of rights and freedoms of man and citizen

1) Discrimination, i.e. the violation of rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of man and citizen based on his sex, race, nationalitiy, language, origin, property and official position, place of residence, religion, persuasions, belonging to public associations or any social groups, is punished by [fine of so and so much Rubel] or by corrective labor for the period of up to one year, or by the deprivation of freedom for the period of up to two years.

2) The same act, commited by an official, is punished by [fine of so and so much Rubel], or by deprivation of the right to occupy specific positions [..] for the period of up to five years or [..] by corrective labor for the period from one year to two years or by the deprivation of freedom for the period to five years. ”

Unfortunately, like in many third-world countries, there is a big difference between the written and the practiced law. Nowadays, even most clear and direct instigations to physical violence against gays remain unpunished: for instance, a Mufti called Talgat Tadjuddin has publicly declared that gays must be beaten and stoned, and he still is a free man – see the report ( The most outrageous crimes against homosexual men (or assumingly homosexual men) are still happening in prisons - brutal rape and dayly sexual abuse by co-detainees are common and even are encouraged by the prison personel - as a means to "keep order". There is so much to do, that human rights activists will have to work for decades.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Mon, May 22, 2006, 18:08
Update on the proposed legislation to prohibit "homosexual propaganda" in Russia:

The legislation proposal was submitted on 28 April 2006 by the member of parliament ("Duma") Alexander Tschuyew from the Party “Rodina” (= "Homeland"), and reads as following (in my free translation):

Russian Federation
Federal law

On the introduction of the addition into the criminal code of the Russian Federation, which foresees penal responsibility for the propaganda of the homosexuality

Article 1. To supplement the criminal code of the Russian Federation (Compillation of the legislation of the Russian Federation, 1996, N 25, art. 2954; 1998, N 26, art. 3012; 2001, № 26, art. 2587; № 33, art. 3434; 2002, № 26, art. 2518; № 30, art. 3029; 2003, № 11, art. 954; № 50, art. 4848) by article 242.1 of following contents: [/color]

Article 242.1. Propaganda of homosexuality.
The propaganda of homosexuality, which is contained in the public appearance, the publicly demonstrated work or the media, including expressing in the public demonstration of the homosexual way of life and homosexual orientation is punished by the deprivation of the right to occupy specific positions or to exercise specific activities for the period from two to five years.

Article 2. Present federal law comes into force from the day of its official publication."

The author of the legislative proposal attached an explanatory note to the proposal:

"Explanatory note to the project of the federal law "About the introduction of the addition into the criminal code of the Russian Federation, which foresees penal responsibility for the propaganda of homosexuality"

The propaganda of homosexuality took on in modern Russia the widest dimensions. This propaganda is conducted both through the media and through the active introduction in the educational institutions of the curricula, which propagandize homosexuality as the standard of behavior. This propaganda is especially dangerous for children and young people, yet not capable of critically relate to that avalanche of information, which is brought down on them each day, all the more, when teachers conduct it. In connection with this it is necessary to fence society, first of all the growing up generation, from the action of homosexual propaganda – this goal is pursued by the present bill.

The bill provides for penal responsibility not for the fact of homosexual orientation of man, but for the active propaganda of homosexuality. In connection with this, the proposed article of criminal code relates to chapter 25 Penal Code of Russian Federation (crimes against the health of population and public morals), but not to chapter 18 (crimes against the sexual inviolability and the freedom of personality). In connection with this, the punishment does not assume the deprivation of freedom or imposition of penalty onto the perpetrator, but it sets as its goal the deprivation of the convict of the possibility to continue his homosexual propaganda with the use of his official position. Rejecting no one’s basic rights to life, respect for personal merit and the participation in public affairs, this law project establishes that those, who propagandize the homosexual means of life, must not be allowed to occupy positions which are related to teaching, educational and other work among children and young people, and also occupation of supervising positions and positions in military and places of detention.

This question is especially urgent today because the representatives of a number of organizations and electronic mass media of sexual minorities of Russia announced their plans to perform a "Gay Parade in Moscow" in the near future, which already caused serious public resonance. "

Summing up, one recognizes the mental connection to the  Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 (2a in Scotland), introduced by Margaret Thatcher in  1987. Unlike the Tatcher law proposal, the Russian counterpart is badly composed and is not very likely to be accepted by the parliament. It is not said, however, that Russian parlament members would strongly oppose to a proposal submitted by the Kremlin, should this ever happen in the next future.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Feral on Mon, May 22, 2006, 23:30
Thank you for this, Mogul. I see that it is also similar to California Proposition 6 ( (the Briggs Initiative). The campaign against that legislation was what brought Harvey Milk to political prominence outside of the city of San Francisco.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Fri, May 26, 2006, 23:35
Tomorrow, May 27, 2006 the first russian gay parade in Moskow is to take place. The demonstration was "forbidden" by the city government and the decicion upheld by a court on May 26. The organizing committee is determined to perform the demonstration despite the declared will of the authorities to prohibit it. Tomorrow we will know more details.

Official website of the organizers:

Unfortunately, Russian gay community is divided - several groups and activists have signed a "declaration" calling for a boycott of the parade just days before it shall take place. There have been a "civil war" in the community for monthes - but in the last1-2 days before the parade the critical voices have at least stopped to agitate against the parade. Will there a change happen in their minds? I hope so, for the sake of the Russian gay community. United we stand, divided we fall.

Some comments/stories in the press:

Besides, Pether Thatchell from the UK-based Outrage! and several members of European and German parliament will participate in the marche.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Feral on Sat, May 27, 2006, 17:11
120 detained over gay-pride parade in Moscow (

Moscow, May 27, Interfax - Up to 120 young people claiming to be members of the gay community have been detained for trying to stage an unauthorized march in downtown Moscow, a city police spokesman told Interfax.

"There were a total of 200 people," the spokesman said. They hurled smoke bombs at passers-by and police and set off fireworks, he said.

Other people tried to stop the demonstrators, the spokesman said. "The administration of the central interior affairs department authorized the detention of the most aggressive young people in order to avoid clashes," he said.

The action's organizers and other members of the gay rights movement were put into buses and taken to police stations, he said. Most of them have already been released, the spokesman said.

Several journalists and foreigners were among those detained during the unauthorized march, a law enforcement source told Interfax.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Sun, May 28, 2006, 00:28
Some videos can be watched on our "Prometheus" (
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Mon, May 29, 2006, 06:06

One day after the street battles in Moscau, the happening have found wide press coverage in the Western mainstream press. In Germany, the media concentrated their attention mostly on the fact that the German MP Volker Beck from the "Green party" was injured by fashists and detained by the police. Reportedly, German and French "Greens" have urged their respective governments to submit notes of protest to the Russian government.

In Russian media the reactions ranged from supportive (see the article below) to abusive (as in Russian television). Most online media restricted themeselve to sober reports, nevertheless the impact was overwhelming - e.g. the leading news portal Lenta.Ru ( has published more than 10 articles in the last few days. My personal impression is that the mainstream media is somewhat perplex about the courageousness of gay and lesbian participants of the parade, and there is some respect to be read between the lines. Obviously, till the last day they did not believe that those coward "homosexualists" will have guts to actually try and seek direct confrontation with authorities. This was the real succes of the exercise - to gain respect, be it at least for the courage - in Russia, weaklings have poor start. Unlike many Russian "homophiles", the fashists and orthodox christians were not afraid of getting bruised - this collection of photographs ( shows that they brought even children and old grandmothers with them. As a good sign one can perceive the changed tone in those "homophile" media who opposed the parade for being a "provocation" - now they have joined into the general tone of condemning the Moscau city government and the police. Though one might be tempted to ask: "Where have you been when your brothers and sisters needed you the most?", gays in Russia shall overcome the past and forget the previous division, for the future will require consolidated actions from all of the activists there. The organization of the parade might have had some weak points, but regarding the general circumstances it was a heroic act - and as such will be written into history books.

If you like to read some original reports, try to translate the following articles with Babelfish ( 1 (, 2 (, 3 (, 4 (, 5 (, 6 (, 7 (

To give you an exemplary impression of the stand of discussions, here the rough machine translation of an article by Ella Paneyakh in the newspaper "Vedomosti":

"Rules of the game: For purposes of safety

by Ella Paneyakh

29.05.2006, №9 (1622)

Gay-Parade in Moscow was actually doomed to that in order to pass by that not noticed. The matter occurs in the country, where the native citizen, after moving from the province to the capital of its own country, becomes more rightless than an illegal immigrant in Europe, where an attempt to draw attention to the problem of family violence sounds with westernizing exotic character, and where the call for equal wage for the women appears definetely strange, where the torture in the police is routine. Yes, the organizers of parade shall forgive me, but against this background the statement that the inhabitants of the country disrespectfully relate to the sexual minorities, do not shake imagination. Demonstrators would have marched through Moscow, and tomorrow everything about them would be forgotten.

But authorities did everything so that oecumenical disgrace would take place instead of the exotic, but completely inoffensive procession in Moscow. First authorities forbade the demonstration on grounds that they had received numerous requests to disallow and to forbid the demonstration, and therefore the authorities feared mass disorders. The simple thought was not pronounced about the fact that exactly for preventing the disorders in the city there is a police, but law-abiding citizens at the demonstration must not suffer from the presence of potential hooligans on the street.

Next, orthodox fundamentalists and other radicals went towards the activists, who regarded the prohibition being illegal and decided to go out to the streets. In principle, there is no misfortune in counter-demonstrations of this type. That is the normal life of the civic community: among other minorities in it there is also a group of people, which assume the regime of the functioning of foreign private parts as being in the sphere of their interests. In America, such picketing of abortion clinics, they be going by crowd to shout filth to the frightened and detuned women, who proceed with operation. But people, which come to protect patients from the insults, are instructed as follows: go next to the woman, try to shield her, but on no account do touch participants of the picket with hands; as if you touch them - this already constitutes violence, and it is possible that police will be involved, and there they will not investigate, who held meetings for which agenda. Their matter is to maintain the order. Anti-abortion activists also know this. So everything goes the usual way - some howl, some cover others, and no one touches each other. For this, there is the police.

The task of the normal “forces of order” is to tie into the rag its political preferences and to make thir direct job properly, this is to ensure order and rights of citizens. To divide demonstration and counter-demonstration, to tie, if possibly without mutilations, the hooligans, who aggressively attacked participants in the parade, and, most importantly, to ensure that all the others - yes, yes, the fundamentalists and the homosexuals – have the possibility to peacefully express their opinion. Thereafter it is possible to file a lawsuit against the organizers of the unsolved demonstrations from both sides. The Moscow police managed to allow attacks on participants in the march, and - for purposes of "safety" – to lambaste the ones and the others itselfe.

This does not mean that in Russia the state is especially homophobic, neither it is anti-orthodox or totalitarian. This somply means that in Russia there is no state in its basic role – the state as organization, which gives its citizens order, safety and possibility to peacefully defend their rights and to express their views. "

Title: Re: Russia
Post by: K6 on Mon, May 29, 2006, 11:12

My personal impression is that the mainstream media is somewhat perplex about the courageousness of gay and lesbian participants of the parade, and there is some respect to be read between the lines. Obviously, till the last day they did not believe that those coward "homosexualists" will have guts to actually try and seek direct confrontation with authorities. This was the real succes of the exercise - to gain respect, be it at least for the courage - in Russia, weaklings have poor start.

So far,heterosexuals had had with us the option of force without risk.They didn`t like us,and at the same time they did not fear us.Not to be liked we can afford,but then we cannot afford not to be feared.I have no real idea of what amount of fear we could inspire without having an independent State of our own.Perhaps a well developped separatist gay movement could do that.Once we will be feared,will we be safe ? Our situation will be better,but it will never be perfect.In an imperfect world,that cannot be.Once heterosexuals won`t have the option of force without risk against us,they might seek to exploit some temporary political inexperience they may observe or suspect among us.We will have therefore to play their diplomatic games,imitating all the tricks involved,behaving already as a State even if we are still only a political movement aiming at the establishment of a State.

Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Feral on Tue, May 30, 2006, 18:30

Moscow, May 30, Interfax - ( Sexual minorities plan to hold another gay rally in Moscow next year and to make it an annual event in the future, Nikolay Alexeyev, leader of the GayRussia.Ru project told Interfax on Tuesday.

‘The 27th of May has been for us so far an anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1993 in Russia. But the gay parade in 2006 in Moscow and the situation in which it was held has given much more weight to this date’, the agency’s interlocutor said.

Thus he said people of non-traditional sexual orientation plan ‘to raise rainbow flags over Moscow again’ on May 27, 2007, as symbols of gay community.

The next year Alexeyev reported will be used by Russian gays and lesbians to challenge in courts of various instances up to the Strasbourg one the ban imposed on the ‘queer march’ in Moscow. To this end, they intend to hire lawyers from abroad, including the well-known London-based gay Professor Robert Wintmute who is said to succeed in a great deal of cases on behalf of sexual minorities.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Thu, Jun 01, 2006, 08:01
He said ‘even if 99% of the Russians are against gay parades, it does not matter at all, as there is a minority whose rights are to be respected just as the rights of the rest’.

Certainly - "after the parade is before the parade", but gays in Russia should use the year for establishing a national organization. Or how comes that with natural abundance of homosexuals making 7-10% of the entire population, "99% of the Russians" are against gay parades? There is still much to do among gays, in first line.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Thu, Jun 01, 2006, 12:00
The portal ( reports the results of a recent survey on homophobia in Russian Federation (performed by Levada center ( Compared with the year 2005, certain decrease of homophobia can be recorded, nevertheless gays face little understanding.

Question: "Do you think that consensual homosexual acts between adult person shall be persecuted as crime in Russia?"
Answers 2005:        43.5 % "Yes"                37.9 % "No"                     18.6 % "can't answer"
Answers 2006:        37.4 % "Yes"                45.3 % "No"                     17.2 % "can't answer"
                            --------------------         ---------------------        ---------------------------------------- 
                                     - 6.1 %                        + 7.4 %                             not significant 

Question: "Russian Law prohibits discrimination on grounds of nationality, race, religion; alike instigation of hate on same grounds. Do you think that the Law shall prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation?"
Answers 2005:        42.8 % "Yes"                36.1 % "No"                     21.1 % "can't answer"
Answers 2006:        45.3 % "Yes"                29.2 % "No"                     25.5 % "can't answer"
                            --------------------         ---------------------        ---------------------------------------- 
                                     + 2.4 %                        - 6.9 %                          + 4.4 % 

In 2005, 14.3 % supported the idea of gay mariage, while 73.4 % opposed it (in comparison, in the Netherlands gay marriage was supported by 80% of respondents).
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Thu, Jun 01, 2006, 13:07
Interestigly, on the same day (27.05.2006) when the planned Gay Pride in Moscow was disrupted and led to riots, apparently a kind of gay pride was successfully performed in the city of St Petersburg.

The website contains several photographs, demonstrating this fine piece of gay pride:

( ( ( ( ( (

While russian gay media entirely ignored this happening, a catholic website ( bitterly complains about the inconveniencies the church-goers have suffered:

"Of the profanity of the Cathedral on the Day of City

On 27th of May, the day of founding of Saint-Petersburg, the provocative show had taken place on the square next to the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral. The content of that show, never publicized before, warrant us to bring attention to this outrageous fact.

The obscene dances and vulgar performances with participation of the scantly dressed woman and transvestites were given during the whole evening on the stage, erected with no knowledge of St. Catherine parish’s administration. It was offending not only the feelings of the parishioners who attended the services, but also all decent citizens who came to celebrate the festivities with kids.

The soundtracks loudly played made it impossible to perform the evening service, while a group of drunken spectators blocked the access to the main entrance of the Cathedral. The members of the police department looked indifferently on the disorder of the mob that had thrown aside all restrains, while the church’s premises were left unguarded. Lucking any self-control, the audience of so called “The Parade of Love” organized by popular among gays “Central Station” club loudly bursted into the Cathedral, drank alcoholic beverages and urinated at the church’s main and side entrances. The sacred place was desecrated. We think that those who organized this disgusting show and those who had given a permit to organize the show in this place are responsible for all offences taken by the people, whose moral and religious feelings were defiled."

What we can learn from this? 1) Russia is diverse; 2) Good organization rulez!š :=V
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Feral on Fri, Jun 02, 2006, 02:29
Human Rights Watch has published a briefing paper ( about the events in Moscow on 27 May. It is also available as a PDF file (
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Fri, Jun 09, 2006, 20:50
A sociological survey ( performed by the Public Opinion Foundation ( has revealed some additonal statistics about views on homosexuals in Russia.

Q: Do you personally know any homosexuals (gays or lesbians)?
A: 87% "No";                    11% "Yes";                     2% "Can't answer".

Q: How do you personally judge about homosexuals - with condemnation or without?
A: 47% "with condemnation";   40% "without condemnation";        13% "Can't answer".

Q: What do you think, in case someone is a homosexual, shall he hide this fact from public knowledge?
A: 53% "Shall hide this";            28% "Shall not hide this",              19% "Can't answer".

Q: Recently the administration of Moscau has forbidden the performing of a "Gay Parade" in the city. Do you think the administration did right by doing so?
A: 77% "Yes";                     9% "No";                                     14% "Can't answer".

From those who personally know homosexual people, only 28% see them "with condemnation", while 63% without. Compared with the general percentage, the most effective way to fight homophobia seems to get out to each and everyone. Unfortunately, this can have deadly consequences: 24% of respondents have severely condemned homosexuality ("amoral", "sin", "adultery", "dirt", "mental sickness" etc.), further 7% think that homosexuals should be killed.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Feral on Tue, Jun 13, 2006, 08:02
Doug Ireland has defended Moscow Pride against false accusations with some serious accusations of his own (

Moscow Pride 2006 has just published the complete budget for its operations -- showing how it spent its money and where it came from. Nicolas Alexeyev and the Russian organizers of the events  took out personal loans to help finance Moscow Pride, despite which it was forced to run up a substantial deficit of nearly 28,000 Euros. Publishing their budget and their sources of financing is a remarkable example of responsible organizational transparency (would that our U.S. gay organizations were as open about their spending.) This was a necessary step, since some gay bar owners with sinister motives have slanderously accused Moscow Pride organizers of pocketing some of the monies.

The shady Moscow gay bar owners were afraid of having problems with Moscow's authoritarian city government that would hurt their businesses because of the Moscow mayor's ban on  Moscow Pride, so they opposed it. We all are too familiar with under-the-table payoffs to police made by gay bar owners in many countries, including the U.S., especially in times past. Moscow gay bar culture is rather like that of the U.S. in the '50s, '60s, and early '70s, when nearly all gay bars were linked to organized crime. I can well recall the famous struggle in 1975 for control of New York City's Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade Committee -- which then ran New York's gay pride march -- and which had been taken over by mobbed-up gay bar owners, who reaped an enormous profit from the end-of-parade festival on Christopher Street. Gay activists under the leadership of the late, beloved Vito Russo (pioneer gay liberation activist, author of The Celluloid Closet, and later a leader of ACT UP) conducted an effective struggle to take back the Christopher Street Parade Committee from the shadowy bar owners, and defeated them in a vote at a huge and tumultuous gay community meeting (at which the "connected" bar owners tried to pack the meeting with rather obviously non-gay, louche types from Little Italy.)

The degree to which organized crime fed off the US gay community (especially in New York) like a tapeworm is not much remembered. So many of those who witnessed those times are dead. Still, it is not a good memory. Moscow Pride's accounts are here ( Mr. Ireland speaks of "shady bar owners," yet the story on gayrussia appears to quote specific accusations. Just who is making these claims about Mr. Alexeyev?
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Tue, Jun 13, 2006, 23:28
Oh, to explain this story one must go one year back in time, when Nicolay Aleksejew first has announced his plans to perform the 2006 "Gay Parade" in Moscow. It seems that he made the mistake of starting his project without getting an "OK" from a small group of LGBT activists,publishers and businessmen in Moscow who previously regarded themselves as the only rightfull "leaders of the LGBT community in Russia". This group consists in first line out of the following persons:

These four persons actively agitated against the Parade planned by Mr Alexejev, namely by issuing two manifestos (with various other semi-activists) and made everything possible to discreditate the idea of the parade and its initiator. In the 10 - 11 monthes preceeding the parade, numerous critical to vicious articles were published both on and on, mentioning that Mr Alexejev was receiving "grants" from mysterious western sources and sugesting he were a paid provocator. These personal insults did not remain unanswered, as Mr Alexejes's own portal ( has published several severe statements on the assumed enemies in turn. Step by step, the confrontation escalated so much that the critics were apparently not permitted to the press-conferences of Mr Alexejev etc., so I suppose that the contrahents do not speak to each other anymore.

The few commercial activities are controlled, as far as I can judge, primarily by Ed Mishin (print magazine + a shop for books, videos, lubricants) and few other individuals who are, of course, not interested in excessive PR. At least some of them must have good connections to the police, because the only one time when the popular and overpriced club "3 monkeys" was picketed by homophobes, the protesters were quickly collected by the riot police, a luck uncommon in Moscow for gay business. By the way, "3 monkeys" was the club which cancelled the party of MR Alexejev's festival just 2 h before opening - a perfect sabotage.

From all the actors, only Olga Suvorova appears suitable for any constructive activities in the future - onlike others, she did not participate in the smear rumors about the "grants" but restricted herself on criticism based on different analysis of necessary activities. She is apparently also the integrative person behind the recent attempt ( to achieve a unification of russian LGBT activists. Another integrative person might be Vladimir Averin, but he belongs rather to the pro-parade faction so I don't know whether he will be invited by Ms Suvorova to join the unification efforts.

Ed Mishin seems to restict himself to commercial activities nowadays; whereas Ruslan Zujew and his staff ( show a remarkable degree of profanity and unprofessionalism so far, so it is doubtfull they can be regarded as serios political acters in the near future. We shall hope that more russian gays will decide to get involved in LGBT politics and push the agenda forwards.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Feral on Wed, Jun 14, 2006, 01:23
Unfortunately, I do not think "politics" is quite what Mr. Ireland is suggesting. I think the proper word might be "krysha."
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Wed, Jun 14, 2006, 04:00
Unfortunately, I do not think "politics" is quite what Mr. Ireland is suggesting. I think the proper word might be "krysha."

Certainly, the "Gay Pride" (we call it here a "Christopher Street Day") is not the most important thing in our life, but it is of course better when this particular event is controled by a "roof" committee from local activists, instead of mafia. However, I have the impression that cooperation with bar owners is necessary for any kind of successfull show event, which the prides are now at most places. For a political demonstration, one hardly needs much money.

Actually, I am not sure that financial fears from "shady bar owners" were decisive for the campaign against Mr Aleksejev - I would rather suspect that personal vanity among the self-appointed "gay national leaders" has played the main role. It also seems that Mr Aleksejev did not entertain sufficient efforts to win the others for his idea - which, of course, in no way justifies the highly irrational and destructive campaign against him.

But we shall not forget that any movement goes through similar childish phases in beginning - it remains the task of the near future to clarify positions and learn to fight against the enemy, not against each other.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Mogul on Thu, Jul 20, 2006, 04:03
19. July 2006 Russian LGBT activist have managed to perform a legal demonstration in front of the Iranian embassy: 

July 19th marked the first anniversary of the hangings of two gay teenagers in the north of Iran. At the initiative of Project GayRussia, one of the leading gay advocate group in Moscow, Russian gays have answered the appeal launched by the “International Day Against Homophobia” (IDAHO) Committee and OutRage! Similar events took place around the world in San Francisco, London, Paris, Washington, Toronto or New York”

The event was the first public action of the Russian gay and lesbian community after the May 27th banned gay pride.

“We applied for this picket a week in advance and the next day, we received a positive answer from the local authorities” said Nikolai Baev, an activist from Project GayRussia. Asked how he explains this change of attitude from the Moscow authorities --a City Hall official declared last May that Moscow government will always forbid any demonstration supporting homosexuality-- Baev explains the strategy followed by his group "We did not tell them that it will be connected with LGBT rights". Ultimately, the authorities allowed the picket because they did not really know the topic. A similar strategy could not be used for a gay pride.


Interestingly, the "concurrent" portal Gay.Ru ( didn't report on this demonstration, but instead published an article preaching the successes of the gay amusement industry in St. Petersburg, with a poisonous remark that "irresponsible provocations from gay activists from Moscow" are to be blamed for gay pogroms preceding the gay pride on 27. May 2006. I would say, this article uncovers at least the riddle with "shadowy bar owners" who resisted the gay pride initiative.

Source: (in Russian).

P.S. My comments on Gay.Ru were consequently deleted (twice) so it must be assumed that the people working there are attempting to ban any notice of Mr. Alexejev and his political actions from their forum. This has nothing to do anymore with gay activism, that's pure commerce at gay people's expenses.
Title: Re: Russia
Post by: Feral on Tue, Aug 22, 2006, 00:30
Court to hear complaint by gay parade organizers (

Moscow, August 21, Interfax - Moscow's Tagansky Court will hear on Tuesday a complaint by gay parade organizers against an official ban, imposed on the May 27 gay parade in downtown Moscow.

The court adjourned the hearings from July 19 at the request of the city's Central Administrative District officials, who said they were busily involved in another litigation matter, although the claimants had insisted on hearings in the defendants' absence.

The organizers of the gay parade, who "applied for an official permit to hold a picket on Moscow's Lubyanskaya Square on May 27 in support of tolerance towards the gay community in Russia and the observance of their rights," were denied permission to stage their action.

The district prefecture argued that, "the picket could spark public resentment, given the requests to ban this public event, laid down in numerous letters from government and parliamentary officials, religious confessions and individual citizens."

The prefecture also expressed fear that the picket might provoke "a wave of protests leading to massive disturbances and breaches of the peace." The freedom of association, set forth in the European Convention on Human Rights, could be restricted to safeguard public peace and to prevent unrest, Moscow officials said.

Dmitry Bartenev, a claimant, said that the district prefecture's decision was illegal. "The prefecture motivated its decision by the letters conveying a negative attitude to the event and by the fact that it was incapable of guaranteeing security to its participants in a city where events involving thousands are held daily. This one would have been attended by not more than several dozen people," Bartenev told Interfax.