Disinfo: Homosexual and other minority rights are not violated in Russia, the West misinterprets

Summary

The article 6.21. of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation (Propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors) is misinterpreted in some Western countries. All accusations that say that repressive measures emanate from the state against the LGBT community are refuted.
In certain Republics, the historical roots have their peculiarity which cannot be abstracted. But overall, i
n Russia no LGBT rights are not violated.

Disproof

Recurrent narrative about the absence of violation of LGBTs rights in Russia and claiming that the 2013 law against Gay propaganda is widely misinterpreted in western countries.

The Russian presidency was asked to comment its attitude towards LGBT minorities following the publication of several pieces of news:

  • The UK and US embassies in Moscow raised a rainbow flag to dates to the 50th anniversary since the first pride-parade, which took place held in New York half a century ago, in 1970. And they declared: "LGBT people do not demand special privileges for themselves. They just ask for a decent and respectful attitude and granting them the same rights as other people have. Therefore, we do not tolerate any forms of discrimination, including for sexual orientation and gender identity". Vladimir Putin mocked the U.S. embassy’s move to raise the LGBT pride flag “revealed something about the people that work there”.
  • The channel HBO released a striking documentary film on repression of gays in Chechnya.
  • On July 3rd Vladimir Putin answered to a former MP and head of the Union of Women of Russia, Yekaterina Lakhova, warning about the danger of colourful ice-cream that could pervert the youth. "If there is reason to believe that this is propaganda of untraditional values for us, then simply without the administration, then it is necessary in an appropriate way, but not aggressively, to build such public control. " The ice-cream in question is only a mix of 4 several flavour with natural colours with no connection whatsoever with the LGBT movement or its flag as explained the vice-president of the company producing it. The fact that the president took seriously this witch hunt for any combination of colour that could remind the LGBT flag is worrying.

The 2013 law against Gay propaganda was condemned by:

  • The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe of which Russia is a member. On June 18, 2013, its advisory body on constitutional matters, the Venice Commission, rejected the argument that children were beneficiaries of the Russian law : "It cannot be deemed to be in the interest of minors that they be shielded from relevant and appropriate information on sexuality, including homosexuality."
  • A United Nations Committee panel on the Rights of the Child :it was particularly concerned that the legislation's "vague" definition of what may be considered "propaganda" could lead to the persecution or abuse of innocent people.
  • Human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
  • In 2017 the ECHR ruled against Russia in the Bayev and other vs Russia case: the court points out the many discriminatory biases, and stresses the counterproductive character of the anti-propaganda law for the protection of the health and education of children and the solution of demographic challenges, the Court could even be seen to go have gone so far as ridiculing the Russian Government’s arguments.

Independent studies show that LGBT hate crimes doubled between 2013 and 2017, with researchers attributing the increase to the 2013 federal law banning "gay propaganda." The most recent report by Russia's SOVA Center, a non-governmental hate crime watchdog, noted another spike in anti-LGBT violence in 2018-19. The situation is especially dire in Chechnya, where homophobic violence is not only tacitly permitted, but routinely perpetrated by regional law enforcement.

See similar cases: In Russia, the rights of representatives of the LGBT community are not violated, There is no persecution of gay people in Russia, There is no sexual discrimination in Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: French, Russian, Belarusian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Repression, Human rights, Chechnya, Vladimir Putin, LGBT

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Russian expert reveals that the Ukrainian army downed flight MH17, then destroyed evidence

Russian independent expert Yuri Antipov, who carried out his own investigation about the Malaysia Boeing accident over Donbas in 2014, provided new evidence that Kyiv was involved in the death of thousands of passengers. This specialist showed a series of pictures that prove the vile plan of the Ukrainian government, confirming what Kyiv has been trying to hide for years: Ukraine’s armed forces destroyed material evidence by shooting heavy fire on the wreckage of the plane, as evidenced by the huge crates on the fuselage. According to Antipov, the Ukrainian army delayed the investigative work for as long as possible. The new information shows that the Ukrainian armed forces were tasked to destroy or deform parts of the crashed plane, which was necessary to confound the investigation as much as possible and take it to a dead end. Kyiv did everything at hand to interfere in the investigation, and a campaign of fake propaganda was actively carried out against Russia from the beginning.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the downing of the flight MH17 over Ukraine, aiming to discredit the ongoing criminal trial in The Netherlands and to deny Russia’s responsibility, despite massive evidence on the contrary.

There years ago, this same Russian 'independent expert', Yuriy Antipov, claimed that MH-17 crashed because of an explosion on board. He claimed that a bomb was planted on the aeroplane in the Netherlands. Also, in 2017, Antipov said that a BUK missile system, shown on videos by the Investigation Team (JIT), was brought there by Ukrainian forces. In a similar article for News Front, published on 29 June 2020, Antipov claimed that the investigation stubbornly denies the facts indicating an explosion inside the plane cabin and that Malaysian experts long time ago found a radio recording edited in several parts. Read full debunk here.

Europe’s position in the situation with Sputnik Estonia – criminal silence

Estonian authorities continue to restrict the activities of Sputnik Estonia, violating the principles of freedom of speech. Sputnik Estonia has become the clearest example of the fight against dissent in the Baltic region. Europe’s attitude towards Sputnik Estonia is frightening. Brussels is silent and this is criminal silence. This frees up the hands of other countries that are beginning to study Estonia’s experience in closing Sputnik. The reaction of European structures shows that there is no freedom of speech in the Baltic countries. European organisations chose the non-interference position only because they are talking about the Russian media.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the undemocratic EU. It also contains recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the West's deliberate anti-Russian activities, double standards. This claim tries to show sanctions against Russia, due to its illegal actions in Ukraine, as unfair persecution against Sputnik and its employees and against  Russian media in general.

In Estonia, Sputnik is represented as a "victim of unprecedented persecution" and example of the fight against dissent in the Baltic region. These kinds of statements were debunked several times. All actions taken by Estonia in relation to Sputnik are aimed at economic activity and not against the outlet's news content, and have a basis in both EU (see Art. 2(1)) and Estonian (see para. 93.1) legislation. The Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossija Segodnya. According to the articles of association of the company, the Director-General has the right to decide upon opening bank accounts and carry out invoicing. This corresponds to the condition "having the right to use all or part of the assets of a legal person or entity" in the EU Best Practices for the effective implementation of restrictive measures. "This means that if Rossiya Segodnya, which is controlled by Dmitry Kiselyov, against whom sanctions have been imposed, has assets in Estonia, they must be frozen and access must not be given to funds or economic resources, that is provide services that would enable Rossiya Segodnya to do business. When it comes to Estonia, this prohibition applies to people operating in the territory of Estonia," head of anti-money laundering authority the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Madis Reimand, said.

MH17: Accusations against Russia are groundless, it is a US provocation against Russia

All the charges that the Dutch prosecutor’s office and tribunal make against the Russian Federation and the DPR militias are groundless.

In the summer of 2014, it became clear that neither the reunification of Crimea with Russia nor the conflict in the Donbas can destroy EU-Russia relations. The latter is necessary for Washington.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the International Joint Investigation (JIT) into the downing of flight MH17.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is comprised of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service officials and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy. At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after shooting down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.