For homosexual Russians, there is no respite in mother Russia.
Three weeks ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin has recalled an earlier statement saying that gay visitors are welcome to the country. “We are not banning anything. We are not rounding up anyone. We have no criminal punishment for such relations, unlike many other countries”, Putin said while addressing a group of volunteers. Adding, “But please leave children in peace.”
In June 2013, President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill punishing people for homosexual ‘propaganda’, turning Russia’s LGBT community into enemies of the state and making homophobia a part of the Russian legislation.
The story of how Russia’s LGBT community is faring is told in the latest VICE News film, ‘Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia’, which was recently released in partnership with Stonewall. What the filmmakers highlight is a disturbing trend that saw increased homophobic attacks in Russia ever since the law was passed last year.
Read more: Putin welcomes gay people at Sochi 2014
‘Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia’ highlights the regular abuse that homosexuals and LGBT community receive on the streets. Abuse which sometimes turns into physical attacks – sometimes, it leads to deaths.
In the 5-part series by VICE News, the same abuse is highlighted. For Russia’s LGBT community it is part and parcel of their daily lives, a practice institutionalized thanks to their government.
"...If you’re young and gay in Putin’s Russia, you’re ostracized and cut off from any kind of legal support network," Vice reporter opened the piece, adding, "We traveled to Russia ahead of February's Sochi Winter Olympics to investigate the effects of the country's state-sanctioned homophobia."
'Young and Gay in Putin's Russia.' This made me sad. I'll never understand homophobia. Such a lack of compassion https://t.co/kTVqE4ToJ8— Miracle Of Sound (@miracleofsound) January 14, 2014
From vigilantes subjecting the Russian gay to public acts of brutality and torture, to government sanctioned ban that’s in place to safeguard the homosexuals – the five-part series is a must watch.
Check out part 1 below: