Anorak | Putin’s LGBT Pogrom: Hunted And The Horror of Vladimir’s Anti-Gay Crusade

Putin’s LGBT Pogrom: Hunted And The Horror of Vladimir’s Anti-Gay Crusade

by | 6th, February 2014

Cyprus Russia Gay Protest


THE Russian man who told me about the police who burned him with cigarettes, broke his phone and extorted money wasn’t poor. That’s why he was telling me in the hipster comfort of an East London drinking den, the temporary home of the Silicon Drinkabout tech networking event. He wasn’t poor. That’s why, he said, his family could make the leap from Moscow to the Czech Republic. That’s why he’s now a Czech citizen, able to live and work in the UK and free from the village where the police sold meth and ignored a dead man on the stairs of his apartment block.

I was thinking about that guy as I watched Hunted , Dispatches’s unflinching film on the sickening treatment of Russia’s LBGT community. The title was apposite. Gay people are hunted in Russia now, the scapegoats for a government struggling to keep the economy afloat and the people angry at other things. The Dispatches team took big risks themselves, gaining access to one of the self-styled vigilante groups who uphold the government’s ‘propaganda’ law and roam Russia’s streets in packs looking out for LBGT people to maim, torture and abuse. If you doubt it happens, try searching YouTube.

The Russian hate mobs call their malevolent missions “going on safari”. Their actions are supported by many in Russia and given both tacit and explicit support by the church, state and legislators. One priest interviewed by the film makers sneered: “I just consider [gay people] spiritually and morally ill. Even cattle don’t engage in this.” He was far from the most extreme voice in the documentary. The rage-filled street thugs used the words “homosexual” and “paedophile” interchangeably.

The actions of the gangs are matched in their brutality by legislative abuse with the Russian parliament currently pushing through laws to allow children to be taken from gay couples. Many hundreds of attacks have taken place since the law passed. One incident caught on video and included in the documentary saw a man forced naked into

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Posted: 6th, February 2014 | In: News, Sports, TV & Radio Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink