Moscow’s war in Ukraine has brought the same negative tactics to the Russian gay community at home

As Russian President Vladimir Putin steers Russia towards becoming a closed conservative society, ruled by “traditional values” and tightly bound to the Orthodox Church, with visions of a “Russian world” in opposition to r The depressed, immoral West, the Russians. The parliament has widened Moscow’s official discrimination against gays and others of non-heterosexual orientation.

The idea of ​​Russia as a defender of traditional Christian beliefs has been used to justify Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. And it has driven the Russian Parliament to tighten restrictions on LGBTQ “propaganda”.

In December, Putin signed legislation making it illegal to promote or “glorify” same-sex relationships, to publicly express non-heterosexual orientations, or to suggest they are “normal” – expanding a 2013 law which prohibited the dissemination of “gay propaganda” among minors. . That ban now applies to all ages.

The tougher law is just one way the war in Ukraine has made life worse for LGBTQ Russians. Rights groups and advocates who used to defend sexual and other minorities have been branded as “foreign agents.” Many were driven out of Russia.

Legal experts said the new ban was vaguely drafted to sow confusion and maximize the potential for prosecution and large fines against anyone who engages in public discourse that describes LGBTQ people in positive, or even neutral way – including in advertisements, books or online.

According to Human Rights Watch, whose Russian office was closed in April, the law “perpetuates false and harmful messages that try to link LGBTQ people with pedophiles.”

In contrast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has opened the door to legalizing same-sex civil unions after the war exposed a lack of rights and protections for gay soldiers and their partners.

The Washington Post spoke with members of Russia’s LGBTQ community to understand how the stricter legislation has affected their lives.

“I’ve been doing drag for over two years now, since I moved to St Petersburg. This is my main job and I’ve been working at a themed club but now the clubs can’t be positioning themselves as clubs for LGBTQ people or drag artists. They had to change logos. There’s tons of censorship: what you can’t talk about, joke about, what songs you can’t sing or whose tracks you can’t play so as not to attract unwanted attention from the authorities.

Some clubs drop drag actions. But I’d say censorship worries me the most. Before this law there was freedom of speech. Now, for example, if there are one or two men or a couple of women sitting in the audience, we cannot joke about any sexual topics because this would already qualify as ‘gay propaganda.’ It feels like we all gathered at a birthday party for a 70 year old grandmother and we cannot take a step outside of what is allowed. “

Yaroslava, 33, and Yana, 32, owners of an online marketing company

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Yaroslava: “I have told Yana at the beginning of the war that there will definitely be a new wave of aggression towards LGBT people to divert attention, which is so in character for Russia. You know, when the initial law of 2013 was passed there was outrage and a huge wave of support for queer people in Russia. This year, it was nothing of the sort. People either want to climb into a closet to avoid being noticed or think of ways to run away.”

Yana: “In Russia, we are also the minority within the minority, as we are an open lesbian couple raising a child. We are under more pressure because we have a minor in our family, so we are already stepping outside the propaganda law and some ‘activist’ can call child protection services on us. We have to send him to a private nursery because we have had bad experiences in the government ones. But even in a private one it is enough to have one insufficient parent who can complain about us.”

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Sasha, 19, nonbinary activist

“I am a non-binary person, I write and translate texts for SHeG, a community for non-binary people in St Petersburg. I’ve felt over the last decade that the situation with LGBTQ people in Russia has actually been improving. The community became more open and so on. See the article : What Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Act Actually Says. I don’t know yet if this law would actually change much and I honestly haven’t felt its effects on my personal life yet. But it’s very sad that it’s already affecting things like literature, for example, as they have to get rid of certain things.”

Leva, 35, salon owner, and Ksenia, 31, software tester

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Leva: “I’m trans, non-binary, a feminist and a lesbian. I have an openly queer hair salon, and most of my clients are queer. I have many books and visual art that cover LGBTQ themes.

My partner is really worried for me. There is more tension within our family, I am much more afraid as I have realized that the danger is more real than it has ever been. I’m worried someone will let me know. I’m afraid of getting fined or going to jail for this. But I do not change the way I interact with my clients. I speak openly about my life, their life and I don’t think it’s right to hide anything about myself.”

Ksenia: “I’m non-binary and openly lesbian. From the moment I heard the discussions about this law, I had no doubt that it would be passed. This law equates pedophilia with homosexuality and confirms hatred and intolerance against us in society. I haven’t stopped holding my girlfriend’s hand in public or hugging her but every time I do I can’t help but think that if someone really wanted to they could report us and the law will definitely be on their side. But I don’t want to pretend I don’t exist.

These types of laws are always passed to expand support for those in power and specifically to appease the older population. It’s clear that queer people’s lives will be worse because this law is basically trying to say that we’re deviant, and that that illuminates violence and homophobia.”

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Sergei Troshin, 40, an openly gay lawmaker in St. Petersburg

Sergei Troshin, 40, an openly gay lawmaker in St Petersburg

“I came out fairly recently, this summer, but it gave me a certain level of inner freedom. I’ve been talking about LGBTQ issues even before coming out but now my work in this area is seen in a more just way, I guess. I have had many letters of support from people all over the country which have really inspired me. That’s when I decided for myself that I would still stay in Russia, because I feel some responsibility for these people. On the other hand, there is a level of concern because I have heard that some homophobic people want to harm me in some way. But thankfully that hasn’t happened yet.

The day the parliament approved the bill in the second hearing, I wrote a post on my Telegram blog denouncing this discriminatory and homophobic law. A few days later, another municipal deputy in St. Petersburg announced that he had reported me to the authorities, asking to launch an investigation in accordance with this anti-propaganda law, claiming that the Russian people were outraged by this and encourages others to write similar accusations. So far I have not heard from the attorney general’s office but I will fight this in court if necessary.

The current Russian government took an obvious anti-Western vector and this law is designed to appease the base, conservative part of society. “

Yulia, 30, creator of “Psyche for help” online service, and Kris, 32, chef

Yulia, 30, creator of online service “Psyche for help”, and Kris, 32, chef

Yulia: “It was already a very anxious time as most LGBTQ foundation organizations and rights groups left Russia after February 24, and the passing of this law in December felt almost like the last nail in the coffin.

It has become very difficult to be a public LGBT person. People started self-censoring. The law itself is very confusing and unclear but everyone is panicking, deleting posts etc. Another thing I noticed is how it affected publishers and bookshops, who now have to hide book covers on LGBT themes. And the third thing is that I worry that they will close any remaining support centers for queer people.

Most of my friends are LGBTQ activists and it is especially dangerous and scary for them to stay in Russia. Kris wanted to leave back in February but I’m not that fast, I need more time, but after this law I felt I definitely wanted to move away.”

Understanding the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Understanding the Russia-Ukraine conflict

What has France supplied to Ukraine?

France has provided Kyiv with state-of-the-art artillery, armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft missiles and air defense systems. And the United States has provided Ukraine with more than 2,000 combat vehicles, including 477 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles and more than 1,200 Humvees, The Associated Press reported.

Has France supplied Ukraine with any weapons? France has supplied Ukraine with Crotale rocket launchers and air defense systems and will provide more weapons early next year, French President Emmanuel Macron said on December 20, as quoted by France 24. He said France would , among other weapons, introduces Caesar additional mobile artillery units.

What has France provided to Ukraine? Paris has provided Ukraine with a significant chunk of its arsenal of Caesar cannons, as well as anti-tank missiles, Crotale air defense missile batteries and rocket launchers. It also trains around 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers on French soil.

What does the US buy from Russia?

In 2021, 7.9% of total US Oil and Minerals, Lime and Cement imports came from Russia. In addition, Russia accounted for 2.5% of the US Base Metals of the World, namely Iron, Steel, Tools and Stone, Glass, Metals, Pearls.

What percentage of US exports go to Russia? In 2020, 0.3% of total US exports were shipped to Russia while 0.7% of total US Imports were shipped from Russia during the same period.

Does the US import anything to Russia? Russia Imports from the United States were US$17.27 billion during 2021, according to the UN COMTRADE database on international trade. Russia Imports from the United States – data, historical chart and statistics – last updated on January 2023.

What does Russia supply to the United States? The most common products imported from Russia include “mineral fuel ($13 billion), precious metal and stone (platinum) ($2.2 billion), iron and steel ($1.4 billion), fertilizers ($963 million), and inorganic chemicals ($763 million). “Many of the important things are essential to high-tech manufacturing…

What is our biggest export to Russia?

#Export productValue ($)
1Crude Petroleum121,443
2Refined Petroleum66,887
3Unspecified goods55,265

What do we export to Russian? The main export categories (HS 2 digits) in 2019 were: machinery ($1.2 billion), aircraft ($1.2 billion), vehicles ($725 million), optical and medical instruments ($506 million), and electrical machinery ($349 million). US exports of agricultural products to Russia totaled $193 million in 2019.

What exports from USA to Russia? In 2021, of the $6.4 billion in US exports to Russia, the top commodity sectors were Transportation Equipment (33.9%); Machinery and Mechanical Equipment (25.6%); and Chemicals, Plastics, Rubber and Leather products (17.5%).

Who does Russia import from the most?

Russia’s top five import partners in 2021 were China, Germany, the United States, Belarus, and South Korea. The value of Russia’s imports from its main partner China was nearly 72.7 billion US dollars in that year. German imports were worth about 27.4 billion US dollars.

Where does Russia get their imports from? Russia imports machinery and equipment, vehicles, consumer goods, foodstuffs, chemical products, industrial consumer goods. Russia’s main trading partners are Germany, Italy, China, Turkey, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Finland.

What is Russia’s main import? Russia’s main imports are: machinery, equipment and transport (45 percent of total imports), chemical products (19 percent) and foodstuffs and agricultural products (14.5 percent).

How many helicopters has Russia lost?

13 that Russia also lost 2,840 tanks, 5,742 armored fighting vehicles, 1,837 artillery systems, 393 multiple launch rocket systems, 206 air defense systems, 261 helicopters, 278 aircraft, 1,507 drones, and 16 boats . Here are the indicative estimates of Russian combat losses in November.

How much equipment has Russia lost? The Russian military has lost at least 8,044 units of equipment since the start of the invasion, according to the Oryx analytical project. Of those, at least 4,927 have been destroyed, 198 damaged, and 300 abandoned.

How many tanks has Russia lost? The total number of Russian tanks destroyed, knocked out, or captured by the AFU since the war began was, by that count 2892 vehicles: almost exactly twice the confirmed tank losses of Oryx.

How many Ka 52’s has Russia lost? The air force entered Russia’s wider war on Ukraine starting in late February with about 100 twin-rotor, two-seat Ka-52s. Nine months later he has lost at least 25 of them which independent analysts can confirm. It is not clear how many crew members have died.

How many Russian helicopters have been destroyed?

Ukrainian fighters, air defenses on the ground and saboteurs since February have destroyed 55 Russian fighters and 54 helicopters.

How many attack helicopters does Russia have? (The International Institute for Strategic Studies’ 2021 Military Balance report, compiled before the war, said Russia had a total of 133 Ka-52s.)

How many planes has Russia lost in Ukraine 2022? In War over Ukraine, Neither side controls the skies but Russia has lost 55 planes – WSJ. News Corp is a diversified global media and information services company focused on the creation and distribution of authoritative and engaging content and other products and services. U.S.

Why is Ukraine so important to the United States?

The United States reaffirms its unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters. The relationship between the United States and Ukraine is a cornerstone for security, democracy and human rights in Ukraine and the wider region.

What do we get from Ukraine? The top three imports into the United States from Ukraine, also by value, were seamless iron tubes and pipes, (2) Pig iron, and (3) Electric water heaters, space, soil. By tonnage, the top three US exports were (1) Frozen fish, (2) Vinyl chloride polymers, and (3) Returned exports, with change.

How much money has the United States given to Ukraine? US Contributes $4.5 Billion to Support Ukrainian Government | Press Release | United States Agency for International Development. The . gov means it’s official.

Why is Ukraine important to the world? Ukraine is an important breadbasket, producing about half of the world’s sunflower oil. According to the USDA, Ukraine accounts for 15% of global trade in corn and 10% of global wheat trade. The conflict has cut off such exports, with Russia continuing to block grain in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.