Russian officials have escalated their crackdown on liberal-leaning groups by seeking a ban on the “international LGBT public movement.” The justice ministry has filed a legal claim to recognise and label the movement as extremist, raising concerns about the fate of LGBTQ individuals and causes in Russia.
The move follows a pattern of repression against the LGBTQ community, intensifying since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine last February. The justice ministry accuses the movement of various signs of extremism, triggering criticism from human rights advocates like Dilya Gafurova, head of the Sphere group, who emphasises the dehumanisation of the LGBTQ+ community by Russian authorities.
Despite the challenges, activists vow to continue their fight against discrimination. This latest development is part of a broader campaign, including the banning of medical interventions for gender changes and a restrictive law against LGBTQ “propaganda.” Russia’s harsh stance on LGBTQ rights positions it poorly in the Rainbow Europe organisation’s tolerance rankings among European countries.