Gay Russian ‘beaten in street’ says war is fuelling homophobia

Putin’s Russia has a long history of anti-LGBT sentiment and the Kremlin’s repression has only gotten worse in recent years, according to the dissident campaigner Vladimir Arutyunyan. The already dire situation for LGBTQ+ people in Russia has combined with the conflict in Ukraine to fan the flames of homophobic sentiment among the country’s leaders and media.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Vladimir Arutyunyan (@mr_arutiunian)

Vladimir explained, starting from the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, that the LGBTQ+ community in Russia has gone from being a common opponent of the state ideology, which is homophobic, to being nearly the primary enemy of Russia.

He told “Since February 2022, when the invasion of Ukraine started, the LGBTQ+ community in Russia changed from ordinary opponents who were created as targets of the state ideology, a homophobic ideology, and became almost the main enemy of Russia.

“Because like all Russian politicians, the president, and even the head of the Russian church, they openly describe LGBTQ+ as a satanic Western worldview.

“For them, the war is not only in Ukraine, but it’s a war against those ‘satanic Western worldviews’ that Russia and the Russian president as a so-called hero are trying to protect Russian traditional values from.”

Putin on the alleged Ukrainian attack in western Russia

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

He added: “Homophobes in Russia now openly compare LGBT people with fascists and Nazis.”

The situation appears even worse for those who are anti-war activists or political prisoners.

As Vladimir explained: “There have been a lot of cases where LGBTQ rights defenders get killed in Russia, and even now a lot of political prisoners got detained because of their anti-war stance. When they are also LGBTQ people, it just worsens their situation.”

One example is Alexandria Skochilenko, an LGBTQ activist who was detained for changing a price tag in a supermarket to “no to war.”

DON’T MISS: Defiant pensioner blares siren outside Russian diplomat’s house [REPORT]
Russia to imprison critics of illegal Wagner Group for up to 15 years  [REVEAL]
Putin’s botched PR stunt which left an endangered tiger dead  [INSIGHT]

She now faces up to eight years in prison, highlighting the severe consequences of speaking out against the government’s actions.

The Russian government has taken steps to further marginalize the country’s LGBTQ+ community, with legislation that restricts their rights and freedoms.

These laws limit the rights of LGBT individuals, such as a ban on same-sex marriage and a law against LGBT propaganda that criminalizes the promotion of gay rights

Anti-Kremlin activists like Vladimir fear the hard new anti-gay law passed in December will only worsen the situation for Russia’s beleaguered LGBT community.

Vladimir said: “Putin seeks to exalt traditional Russian values above what he has called the outright satanism of the West.

“This Russian parliament has adopted in the second reading a bill that further tightens the screws on Russia’s beleaguered LGBTQ-plus community, and I’m pretty sure that we already see that the new legislation will worsen in terms of violence, forced outing, catfishing and extortion of Russia’s LGBT community and will provide a permissive environment for ever-worsening hate speech.

“In fact, the Putin regime puts gay people in Russia in an illegal status. LGBTQ people face limitations on freedom of speech, discrimination in labour, defamation campaigns, bullying and limitation of freedom of association. The discrimination is everywhere.”

“Now it’s even much more dangerous for gay people to be in Russia just simply to be there because the Government will never protect them, a gay person can be killed and with a big probability, no one even will investigate or will punish the criminals because gay people are the main target of this pro-war ideology.”

Such is the level of state repression that Vladimir only felt safe to come out publically as gay after he had fled to Dubai last year the day after Putin launched his invasion on February 24.

Having since arrived in the UK, the political blogger said: “In Russia, I was not out. I was closeted and I came out when I was in Dubai. I did it publicly on my Instagram blog because I got tired of the lie.

“I was not myself and since the war began I can see how gay people are becoming the main target of the state war ideology.”

“I felt at the time if I chose this path to stand against the war, against the government and the state ideology, and I chose the path to stand for humanity, to stand with Ukraine and for human rights, then I’m going to advocate also for LGBTQ rights. So that’s why I decided that that was the time to come out.”

Source: Read Full Article