Russia: LGBT Life through Personal Stories.

Some go to the action and try to behave openly. Others live a normal life, without advertising their orientation, and do not understand what they need to fight for.

While other countries of the world legalize same-sex marriage, Russia is tightening legislation. LGBT people from Russia talked about the difficulties they faced and whether they felt safe in their own country.

Some go to stocks that rarely end peacefully, and try to behave openly. Others live a normal life, without advertising their orientation, and do not understand what they need to fight for.

Nastya , 38, journalist; bisexual (Stavropol, Petersburg):

  • I’m open bisexual. This does not mean that I am talking about this when I meet people. No, I just do not hide. Sometimes it is difficult, because in Russia you never know how to react to this. Being open to Russia may not be safe.

Of course, I was not so open while working at the university and in the public service. Gradually, I began to realize that it was better to look for work, where I would feel comfortable in this regard. Now I am in a wonderful team, where my orientation is accepted as the norm by the majority of those people with whom I interact.

I became open after the fireplace (coming out – “opening”, “exit”) in front of my parents. It was 29 years old. I didn’t want my parents to learn about my homosexual experience not from me. I realized the exit not as a bisexual, but as a lesbian. So it was easier at that time. I did not want many explanations and parental hopes that I could still “become heterosexual.” Parents accept me. They don’t understand much, probably to the end, but they respect my personality, and most importantly – they love me. We did not conflict with my orientation. But I understand that if I have a family, same-sex, with a child, and we come to stay or stay in the house, then, most likely, it will not be presented to the neighbors as something that the daughter came with his wife, or partner, and a joint child .

Do I face rejection? Yes. One day, a guard in a pie asked me and my beloved to stop hugging. More precisely, he said: “Do not do it,” when we stood just embracing. He argued that “moms with children” are watching. But I can defend my borders. So he walked away, and we continued. And I think that there is nothing more important for a contribution to changing the attitude of an intolerant majority towards LGBT people than being visible, continuing to hug, dance as a couple, continue kissing in the subway and other public places.

What do I feel is a real threat? I am vulnerable as a mother. I have a minor son, he is 16 years old. And the state appointed me as his enemy when it passed a law banning LGBT propaganda among minors. I am a beautiful mother, an interesting person, who has something to appreciate and respect, and at the same time I am bisexual. That is so possible! And I insist that this is possible, and I will not hide meaningful relationships from my child, parents, friends and the whole world. But I understand that if someone does not like my behavior, this trump card can be played out, and women from guardianship bodies can appear on the threshold.

I do not feel as free as I would like, I do not feel safe. But I believe that Russia will become free. Including from the reinforced concrete framework of ideas about the “correctness” and “incorrectness” of someone’s personal life.

Alexey , 38, economist, designer; bisexual (Petersburg):

  • The first time I faced homophobia, when I lost my best friend. Her boyfriend from Dagestan, learning about me, forbade her to communicate with me. But in full, I felt homophobic aggression, becoming a LGBT activist six years ago.

Many closed LGBT people can think that everything is in order in our country. Until you take the guy by the hand in the street. Or you can not put a rainbow ribbon on a backpack.

On my first action in the center of St. Petersburg, where we produced colorful balloons, a few dozen ultra-right thugs came. One man with a cross screamed shrilly that we needed to hang and bury. Three meters from me, some guy snatched out a gun and fired at one of the protesters. Nearby, a mob raged with closed handkerchiefs on faces that chanted insults. We had to curtail the action five minutes later under pressure from the police. We left by bus, and in the evening I found out that an angry mob attacked the bridge with a bus with migrants, broke windows, beat people [according to another version, the nationalists attacked buses with gays, and the bus with migrants fell under their hands]. In this case, no one was punished.

Then I realized that we need to deal with it. Both my grandmothers were in besieged Leningrad. And here fascism is back. And then I went to the newly created “Alliance of heterosexuals and LGBT for equality.” A lot of things have been in these six years. And the first picket on Nevsky, when he was afraid to raise his eyes, and a hail of stones on the Field of Mars, and torn posters, and attacks, and hard detentions by the police. Threats on the Internet have become a familiar background. But we did not stop, we held dozens of actions, and now we are used to us in St. Petersburg. True, I lost my job last spring because of activism. After the comic action “LGBT special forces” I came to work from law enforcement agencies. The employer chose not to take the risk and get rid of me.

However, I consider myself a very happy person. During these six years, I accepted myself much better and began to live more openly. It’s great when you can not lie, do not hide, and just be yourself. Fortunately, no one turned away from me. I believe that we will be able to ensure that in Russia they will also treat LGBT citizens normally. But it takes time and effort.

Andrei , 29, teacher of English; gay (Rostov-on-Don, Petersburg):

  • I do not hide my orientation behind seven seals, but I don’t advertise deliberately either: of course, in the profession of a teacher it can do much harm. I already had a bad experience. I had to change the previous job because of a conflict with the parents of the students: someone got wind of my orientation, and they started harassing me. For four months I went to work, like a guillotine (denunciations rained down on the leadership), in the end I decided to quit and live peacefully. At the same time, I have excellent relations with the administration of this institution, they respected me as a teacher and did not stick my nose in my bed.

I’m not ashamed to talk about who I am and what I am, but not a walker to gay parades. That’s not mine. Most of my acquaintances and friends know about my orientation. These are very different people: and loners, and with families. Most often, the surrounding calmly perceive my orientation. People in most situations really don’t care at all. All these stories about the brutal life of the average homosexual – let’s leave the lovers to ponyt. True, people from my professional world are somewhat harsh in this regard. But in general, I do not feel oppressed, I do not understand what I have to fight for if I am gay.

My family doesn’t know that I’m gay. Many times I tried to confess to my mother, but decided to leave everything in its place. I’m so calmer. It is enough for me that I know that I am gay.

There are, of course, negative reactions to my sexual choice (and there were many), but I’m not rokhlya, I can answer. Do I feel safe? Oddly enough, yes. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Those who are negative about LGBT, I have nothing to say. And I do not think that I should say anything.

The attitude of Russians towards gay people certainly changes, but which way depends on the specific place. In a small town or outback gay will certainly be hard. In a big city, everything is different: there are many special institutions, more opportunities to get to know people like you.

How to make Russian society more tolerant? For me, no matter how trite it is, you need to start from yourself. Each of us. Who am I and why in this world, what benefit can I bring? It seems to me that these questions are deeper and more important than who has what orientation and who is sleeping with whom.

Dasha , 31, gardener, carpenter; Lesbian (Petersburg):

  • The fact that I’m a lesbian, they know not all with whom I communicate. Firstly, my personal life is not a topic that I am ready to talk to with the first person I meet. Secondly, I’m afraid. I know how our beautiful society treats homosexuals and queers [eng. queer – representatives of sexual and gender minorities], how much hatred, contempt and ridicule flow in our direction. And I also know about violence against LGBT people – both boys and girls. I know about gay murders. It all sounds scary.

I try not to show tender feelings for my girlfriend in public. I do not want all these sidelong glances, giggles and stupid questions like “and who among you is for a boy,” I don’t want to attract unnecessary attention and, possibly, unpleasant attention.

Before, it was even harder for me – my family did not know about my homosexuality. I did not tell anything, because I was afraid that my mother would not accept me. But once I realized that it was unbearable – to be silent and live in fear that someone would accidentally tell my mom about me.

My kaminat occurred a little over two years ago. It was the happiest day of my life: Mom said that anyone loves me and wants me to be happy. Her phrase: “My poor girl, how have you lived with such a burden all these years ?!” – I will remember forever. Then I talked to my younger brother, he took everything very calmly. After that, my life seemed to start picking up speed: I gave up journalism, because of which I earned a lot of frustration, became a gardener and a carpenter, stopped the difficult relationship and met a man who seemed to rediscover me myself.

But all this happiness is overshadowed by constant fear. In Russian society and at the level of state policy, people like me are considered marginal, something nasty, depraved and shameful. Some people even consider gay a threat to society, a threat to children. I can understand why so many people completely hide their homosexuality: it’s safer.

In Russia, the situation is not getting any better. In order for the attitude of society towards LGBTIC [LGBT and intersexual] to change at least somehow, it seems to me that more than one generation should be raised, educated on the principles of equality, respect for the individual and inalienable freedoms, and not only on ideas about the great past of the country. I’m not sure that this is possible in Russia. It’s probably easier for people here to be silent, afraid and hate. Although there is always hope for youth.

Michael , 25, businessman, designer; gay (Petersburg):

  • At some point I was tired of living a life that was closed: I had to hide, dodge, it took a lot of energy. When I opened up to my parents, it became easier for me to open up to other people and accept myself. My mother took her normally, her father went into a prolonged depression, he tries not to raise the question of his personal life anymore.

There are many difficulties. First, it is the inability to feel safe: it is some permanent sense of threat. Secondly, the impossibility of the manifestation of feelings on the street: when there is some kind of restriction, it is strongly suppressing, it introduces a depressive state, causes a feeling that I am not like everyone else, and something is wrong with me.

I have not yet encountered an aggressive reaction. But since I do not feel safe, I try not to shout about it.

I would advise people against LGBT people to go on a course of therapy and take up their personal life. But this requires courage and courage, and often those who have a negative attitude towards LGBT people, are cowards.

In Russia, everything is getting very sad, not only with LGBT people. In my opinion, everything connected with the LGBT theme will be discriminated even more from a political point of view.



The monologue of a resident of Chechnya, who reported to the police about attempted rape at work, survived the night interrogations, almost became accused under the article about false denunciation and was condemned by relatives.

The editors have at their disposal copies of the verification materials. The names of all participants in the event changed at the request of the heroine.


  • I got married at 17 years old. Now I’m 37, I’m divorced. I have four children who live with me and with their father – after school they stay where they are more comfortable, and the eldest daughter is already married and lives separately. Last year I got a job as a dispatcher at the fire station of Urus-Martan. Of the women I worked there and the cook in the dining room. I didn’t have contact with men especially, I worked in the office of the head, but more often I was there alone, he almost did not appear. Occasionally two guys came in, something was printed on a computer. “Hello, hello”, “goodbye-bye”.

Not counting the weekend, I worked in the firehouse just five days. On June 26, I was sitting at the computer when my boss, for no reason at all, said: “I bet that you are wearing thongs now.” I asked what kind of conversation it was. He said: “I am putting my 50 thousand rubles, that the thong is now on you.” I began to explain to him that if I needed money, then I would go and earn it, and it was here that I came. And if I need to be someone’s prostitute or bedding, then I can do it at home without going to work. On this he called me “smart, educated fool.”

After two or three hours, everyone gradually dispersed from work, almost no one was left. I packed all my belongings when the boss returned. He asked why I need bags, I replied that I was leaving. He grinned: “Come on, no one holds you here. Just close the window in the office that you left open.” I just turned away to close the window, as he shut the door in the hallway, and then closed the door to our office and stood in front of me. He took me by the shoulders, pressed to the wall and began to climb kissing.

He held my face, my jaw. I pushed him to the left, I was in pain – I had an unhealthy tooth, sealed up. He grabbed so tightly that the tooth broke. I had a sharp pain in my mouth, I got a little weak, and he pushed me onto the couch. I sat down. He sat on top of me, on his knees, like a child, and began to pester and kiss. I asked him to let me go. The investigators then asked how long it lasted. And I do not know, did I notice this time? Maybe five minutes, maybe a minute at all. The main thing is that for me it was eternity.

At some point, he says to me: “Let’s do it mutually, I will, in any case, do it.” I got up and began to unbutton the belt. I do not remember what happened next: whether I pushed him away, or screamed. I don’t know where the keys came from in my hand. Maybe he gave me, maybe I took them myself. I only remember how I went out the door of the fire station and walked along the road.

She sat in a taxi, which stood next to the fire station, and drove to her friend. She lives in the same city, not far. I told her everything, she reassured me, said: “Do not shout, brother will see. Do not cry, but there will be questions.”

At 18 o’clock she was going to the city and drove me to the intersection. From there I was going to go home. She stood at the crossroads, thought about her. Started crying. At this point, I wrote a familiar precinct. He drove to the bus stop, I got into the car and began to tell the whole situation. He asked: “Why do not you come to him?” Said, “The price is nothing for you, if you leave it all so.” He podnachil me, and I decided to listen to him.

When I went to the doctor, I said that there was an attempted rape. The hospital staff called the district police officers, but my friend said that I don’t have to wait for them: “Tomorrow you go to the Investigation Committee yourself.” I caught a taxi, and I drove home.


  • At 23:00 a precinct came after me from our village and we went to the ATS. I began to ask what happened, I told. They called my brother and under escort we were taken to Urus-Martan. Brought from the back door, without a mark at the duty. They say to my brother: “She remains here, and you go home.” They put him out the door, and they left me there.

Until four in the morning they took explanations from me. They didn’t give me any food or sleep. The conditioner worked all night, it was cold, and I sat in a thin dress. In the morning, the interrogation began anew. They say to me: he did nothing to you. They asked me to say that I had mixed up, that I did not want to apply for the head, that I had accidentally gone to the hospital.

Relatives of my boss came to our home and first told my father and uncle: “Sorry, we are to blame.” Then, already in the police, they began to say that “this girl wanted to substitute our guy.” Together with the police, they began to put pressure on me, and I said that now I’m definitely applying for this person. What they just riot happened. They shouted to me: “He did not do anything to you!” They looked for a flaw in me, reminded me that I was divorced, hinted at it constantly. And one of the policemen said: “Well, I would give it to him.”

On the investigative experiment allowed everyone except my brother. They even let the fire department employees and relatives of my boss, who were not supposed to be there. At this time, all and sundry called me a prostitute. “We like you, we know, walk and substitute good people.” Right under the investigators. And every time I wanted to answer them, the investigator also criticized me. I asked: “Are these insults included in the investigative experiment?” To this he said nothing.

When I read the characteristics in the case file, I learned a lot about myself: it turned out that all the fire department employees, even those whom I did not know, had a bad opinion about me. Everyone had something to say about me: then I dress vulgarly, talk too much and smile – they took my line for coquetry.

They interrogated local Islam. Two or three days after the whole story began, he sent one guy to me, through whom he conveyed: “Take the statement back, they put pressure on me.” I said that I would not take the application, but I promised that I would not disturb him in any way. But time passes — and I find out that this district policeman wrote such an explanatory message against me: that he communicated with me because I allegedly work as an informant for him, that is, I am a snitch. He said that I looked fine that day, did not say anything about the tooth, and that he did not know about the incident with the boss. Said, “She just asked to take her to the hospital and that’s it.” It was the most offensive – his betrayal.

In this whole situation, only my mother supported me. The police are on the side of the relatives of my boss, they have blackened me completely. My relatives reproach me: “Why did you even go to work, did you not have a piece of bread and a glass of water?” So why go to work? To not be a burden to anyone.

In the republic about this usually everyone is silent. This is me, one such fool. Soon the year will pass, as it happened. During this time, they poured so much dirt on me … You know, I even began to think that if he had raped me then I would have been silent.


On July 27, 2018, a month after the events described, the investigator refused to initiate criminal proceedings against the deputy head of the Urus-Martan fire station.

The document states that there is no crime in his actions.

Regarding Louise herself, the investigator conducted a check on suspicion of knowingly false information, but concluded that she was “mistaken” and “stated not about fictitious circumstances, but because of her ignorance, she perceived the actions of E. as directed at compelling sexual acts” .

The document also contains the testimony of witnesses who describe the behavior of a young woman in the workplace.

The woman-cook of the fire department: “L. is sociable, friendly, she can’t somehow characterize. It can only add that she was not shy, could perform ablution with men, since the entire staff of the HRNG consists of them, but for her unacceptable”.

The first firefighter: “He did not like the way L. was dressed, she could afford to wear a tight dress that emphasized her magnificent figure, although she understood that she was in the men’s team and could be discussed.”

The second firefighter: “It may explain that L. behaved immodestly, namely, she could do ablution with men: take a jug of water and go with a man to the toilet, but this is unacceptable by the rules of etiquette.”

The firemen do not believe in the culpability of their colleague and leader, since he is a “educated man, married and has five children”.

Emin himself did not deny either the dialogue about strings or attempts to kiss Louise, but he called it flirting. The deputy head of the fire department was confident that the woman did not mind, according to the testimony:

“L. sat in his workplace and flirted with him, and also seduced him with her actions, which expressed air kisses, unbuttoned the top button, periodically touched him, as he sat next to her and helped her in her work. He decided that L. would not mind if he kissed her, and asked her permission. To which L. did not answer him, and he moved closer to her and turned his face to her lips. L. did not mind, and they kissed on the lips. “

“He told L. to wear more modest clothes, because her appearance excites him, to which L. said that she would wear what she liked, and this is not related to work. <…> It can be explained that there was no attempt at violence against L., everything was by mutual consent. He didn’t offer to have sexual intercourse, they only kissed and he touched her hips. “


“In Chechnya, I work with a client who has been subjected to rape at work: here we were denied initiation of a case of sexual abuse and beatings (articles 133 and 116 of the Criminal Code) against her former boss. We will appeal against the refusal and actions of the investigating authorities who didn’t conduct the check on the application properly, and also kept the woman without food and water under the air conditioner for almost two days. My applicant is still being treated for the effects of hypothermia.

The investigating authorities often hamper our work on cases of violence: we have to wait for the necessary papers for several months in a row. In such actions we see signs of abuse and abuse of office.

We managed and succeed in achieving punishment for those who committed sexual crimes, if, of course, the victims of violence are ready to seek justice. But sometimes they are not ready to apply to official bodies due to the fact that by no means relatives always side with women. In one of the cases, it was the brother who began to defend his sister, brought her to me, and we began to work on the case. If he had not brought her to me and would have believed what the police officers and relatives of the criminal said, then the situation would be completely different. No one would have known about the incident that happened to the woman, continuing the tradition of silence. “


Gay Mosque Toronto: a fusion of Islam and LGBT (18+).

Today is the International Day against Homophobia. In general, it is strange that this phenomenon still exists, because gay people are everywhere, and no matter how different medieval figures try to “cure” or kill them, it is impossible. Representatives of LGBT [and there are still a bunch of letters, as is now fashionable] are gradually winning recognition for themselves, and such events as the legalization of same-sex marriages in Taiwan, no longer cause anyone to tremble. Today, even the state media of fraternal China allow themselves to openly express support for homosexuals.

Sadly, religion remains the main stronghold of the fight against gays. But not all. Catholics in recent years have become more tolerant of the LGBT community, especially with the arrival of Pope Francis. Protestants (in any case, European) do not care who cares about sleeping with anyone. But in the Orthodox and especially Islamic environment, gay people are still being stigmatized. In Muslim countries, particularly in Iran and Saudi Arabia, Sharia still provides for the death penalty for same-sex contacts.

But what should a devout Muslim do if he is gay? It’s simple: you have to live in Canada!

For example, in Toronto there is the Unity Mosque (“Unity Mosque”), where LGBT Muslims come to the Friday prayer. To be precise, this is not exactly a mosque, but a chapel in one of the office buildings. Its location is kept secret for the safety of visitors.

But the worst thing (from the point of view of Islam) is not even that gays can come here. After all, gays also go to ordinary mosques, they simply do not reveal themselves. The worst thing is that in the “Mosque of Unity” many important rules for the faithful Muslim are ignored.

For example, women pray with men. Moreover, there is no dress code: you can come at least in shorts, and women do not need to cover their heads. Even worse, any of those present can call for prayer and hold it. Yes, even a woman. And the main nightmare: even a non-Muslim can come here to prayer. Just watch and chat with your Muslim friends. 

Lebanese artist Yara El-Safi moved to Canada in 2001.

How do you do that?

Yes, such a mosque could appear only in Canada. El-Faruk Khaki, a migrant of Indian origin from Tanzania, became one of the founders of the chapel. He and her husband, Troy Jackson:

Photo: Daniel Ehrenworth The.

Unity Mosque parishioners are confident that their version of Islam is true Islam, but they recognize that for most Muslims it is marginal.

Thanks to the activities of Khaki and the co-founder of the Unity Mosque, Samra Habib, chapels open to the LGBT community also appeared in other cities of Canada, particularly in Vancouver and in Calgary.

Samra Habib. Photo: Sammy Rawal.

But, for example, in Calgary, the chapel wanders from one room to another for security purposes. Sometimes prayers are held in coffee houses or at someone’s home, and in summer – just outside. LGBT Muslims are forced into hiding because of the constant threats and attempts of “ordinary” Muslims to obtain lists of worshipers. One of the members of the community, parents even kicked out of the house and promised to kill if he returns.

But Khaki continues to work and believe that he is doing everything right.


Russian embassy wrapped in Pride flag to protest Chechnya’s anti-gay purge.

They unfurled the flag alongside handing in a petition calling for the Russian government to intervene.

A pride flag with the IDAHOBT theme ‘justice’ printed on it was rolled-out outside the Russian embassy visitors entrance | Picture: Reporter’s own.

‘We’re here to hand in some post,’ Eleanor Kennedy said into the intercom outside the Russian Embassy, London.

Kennedy, alongside dozens of placard-holding supporters, were handing a petition calling for Russian President Vladimir Putin to respond to the second purge of LGBTI people in Chechnya.

Alongside the petition, she and her team laid out a giant Pride flag on the embassy steps today (17 May) in protest against the bloc’s silence. It was done to coincide with the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexsim and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

What was the protest?

At 10am today, dozens of LGBTI people and allies met outside the embassy and blanketed the sidewalk with a Pride flag and an array of multi-colored placards and signs. Contrasting to the cream-colored three-story building and dusky gray sky behind it.

One sign read: ‘Love is a Human Right.’ Another: ‘I am who I say I am.’

Dozens of LGBTI activists made their voices heard | Picture: Reporter’s own.

The protest was a collaboration between two of the largest human rights charities, Amnesty International and Stonewall. Rainbow RU, a London-based Russian community, also joined.

The trinity of activists were there to bring to light to arguably one of the biggest human rights atrocities in the 21st century so far.

In a notorious crackdown in April 2017, more than 100 men thought to be gay were abducted, tortured – and in some cases killed – in Chechnya in what appeared to be a coordinated purge.

‘They’re completely shirking all responsibility’.

This wasn’t the first time that the 33-year-old individuals at risk campaigner at Amnesty International UK tried to mail a petition to the embassy.

Kennedy told Gay Star News: ‘We’re here on IDHOBIT 2019 to hand in a petition that Amnesty International have been running calling on the Russian government to take responsibility for human rights abuses that have happened against the LGBTI community in Chechnya.

Ellie Hending attempting to hand deliver the petition to the Russian Embassy | Photo: Reporter’s own.

‘The Russian government, who are the de facto leaders of Chechnya, refuse to take any responsibility for this and have refused to cooperate with international calls for a legal investigation into these atrocities.

‘They’re completely shirking all responsibility.’

Kennedy and a co-worker went to hand-in the petition, but embassy guards communicated that this wasn’t possible. Kennedy would have to post the petition instead. ‘We’ll post by first class,’ she said.

Not the first petition, and not the last.

The 65,000-strong petition is the second Kennedy has tried to hand in. Her first coincided with the first recorded wave of attacks back in March 2017, she told me, as a can of Diet Coke was blown down the sidewalk.

‘Off the back of that, we ran an action similarly calling for the Russians to take responsibility. Tried to hand it into the embassy and they refused to engage.

As embassy guards politely asked protesters to pack-up, some supports decorated the mesh gates with dozens of rainbow roses | Photo: Reporter’s own.

‘The same thing has happened again. Just kicking the can further down the road.’

Why were they protesting?
Senna, 25, said to me ‘Merry IDAHOBIT.’ The Kingston-upon-Thames local was up in Kensington for the day along with her Amnesty International colleagues.

‘I’m a bisexual myself and I find what’s happening horrible,’ she told me, standing by a residential street. ‘There are no words to describe what is happening.

‘We need to change what’s happening. What we’re doing today is raising awareness and we have more than 200,000 people behind us.’

‘Continue to say that we’re here’.
This was a sentiment held by Leanne MacMillan, director of global programmes at Stonewall. ‘It’s incredibly important that we practise a politics of presence,’ she told me after the protest.

‘Over 65,000 people have signed this petition worldwide. We knew this was going to be for the long-haul.

‘This isn’t just an issue for the LGBTI people, this is about human rights in general. A crushing assault on human society in Russia and Eastern Europe spearheaded by Russia and other states.

‘I think the more that we can do to send a message that we’re calling for action. One of the tactics of the Russian state is to practise a politics of normalization, invisibility, and denial.

‘The best thing we can do is continue to say that we’re here, even when the actions aren’t hitting the headlines.’

Chechnya: A timeline of the atrocities.
Chechnya, or the Chechen Republic, is a subject of the Russian Federation located in the North Caucasus region. It has a population of 1.4 million and the capital is Grozny.

Its president is Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been in power since 2007. He tends to rule the country in accordance with traditional Islamic social codes, even if these contravene Russian law.

Chechnya relies on Russia for federal assistance, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has often turned a blind eye to Kadyrov’s human rights abuses or failed to act.

Since last year, LGBTI folk have been detained in makeshift prisons, strapped to homemade electric chairs, sexually assaulted with police nightsticks as the torture methods intensify.

While Russia decrminalized homosexuality during the breakup of the Soviet Union, the police in Chechnya have periodically detained queer people in extrajudicial arrests without repercussions from federal authorities.

We’re inviting you to make a difference today by donating to the Chechyna Appeal.

Every dollar, euro and pound you give will help evacuate LGBTI people in the most danger. And to pressure the Chechen authorities to stop this persecution.


The level of fear in respect of LGBT neighbors among Russians has increased three times in ten years.

Russians feel the same degree of fear when they think that their neighbors will be from the Caucasus or Central Asia, as well as homosexual couples.

The results of the new survey leads “Levada Center”. It turned out that dysfunctional families, homosexual couples and members of religious sects are the most undesirable neighbors from the point of view of Russians. Concerning these groups of people negative attitudes prevail. And since 2006, the level of “fear” in relation to LGBT neighbors has increased threefold – from 7 to 22, while the degree of fear towards Caucasians or sectarians has almost not changed. For clarity, “Levada Center” provides the following table.

“The longest distance to cohabitation was recorded in relation to members of a religious sect, a homosexual couple, and a dysfunctional family, the potential neighborhood with which caused the respondents, rather,“ irritation, dislike ”or“ distrust, fear, ”sociologists summarize. Experts add that young people aged 18-24 are more tolerant of a possible neighborhood with a homosexual couple. Respondents with a higher education are one and a half times more likely to also show a neutral attitude towards entry ednyuyu apartment homosexual couples than respondents with less than secondary education.

Sociological surveys are not the first year indicate a significant increase in homophobia in Russia. So, in August 2017 it was reported: 55% of Russians treat LGBT citizens as migrants – “wary” or “very bad”. In August 2018, VTsIOM found out : 63% of Russians believe in the existence of a global “gay conspiracy” against their “spirituality”.

Earlier, foreign sociologists argued : homophobia of neighbors negatively affects the health of gays. The level of homophobia in different areas was determined by the number of adversaries or supporters of marriage equality. In areas where there was a high number of people who voted against gay marriage, researchers found that homosexuals were more likely to have psychological problems.