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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 331 > From Russia with Hate

From Russia with Hate

In 2013, Russia enacted a vindictive “gay propaganda law” which demonised and imperilled its queer citizens. Now in an ironic twist, Vladmir Putin faces a potential schism with one of his most ardent supporters, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, over allegations of a campaign of violence against the Russian republic’s gay men.

In April of this year, Novaya Gazeta, a Moscow newspaper, made international headlines with an investigative piece claiming that gay men in Chechnya were being rounded up and send to camps where they were being beaten, tortured and even murdered.

As of the end of May, the total of number of murdered gay men stands at 26, according to latest reports by Novaya Gazeta. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that several of those targeted are still being held in detention.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov dismissed the accusations, saying there were “no gay men in Chechnya,” adding that any gay man in the republic was simply pretending to be Chechen in order to “get to the West”.

Writing on Instagram, press and information minister Jambulat Umarov, said that Novaya Gazeta should “apologise” for the “filthy provocation” of suggesting gay people existed in Chechnya.

Alvi Karimov, a spokesman for the leader later told reporters: “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, since their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

Later media reports also indicated the involvement of several high ranking Chechen officials in the alleged torture. In Chechnya it seems, the taboo of homosexuality is as pronounced as ever and given its recent history, this is no surprise.

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About GCN

The brand new Dublin Pride issue of GCN features a stunning cover image by London-Irish writer and photographer, PP Hartnett, and an interview about interrogating the flip side of the gay community through his work. We also talk to maverick trans rapper, Mykki Blanco about his life post abandoning Trump’s America. Will Vladimir Putin go to war with Chechnya over the region's gay purge? We analyse the situation. Our editor goes to New York to attend a meeting of Gays Against Guns, one year on from the Pulse massacre in Orlando. We meet Irish HIV activists who are taking inspiration from the fierce examples set by ACT UP NYC at the peak of the AIDS crisis, and we talk to Joni Crone, the first ever lesbian to appear on The Late Late Show in 1980 for a legendary interview. And that’s just a flavour of what we’ve got in store for you this month!
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