The persecution of sexual minorities in Russia is a critical, ongoing issue which includes violence, employment discrimination and social stigma.
According to the NGO ILGA-Europe, Russia is the fourth-worst European country for LGBT persons to live in.
The true extent of anti-LGBT discrimination in Russia is difficult to assess, given that the state does not compile statistics on violence against sexual minorities. Nor does the legal system confer any specific protections on LGBT persons; Article 63 of the Criminal Code counts "political, ideological, racial, national or religious hatred" among factors aggravating punishment for violent offences, but this provision does not extend to sexual and gender minorities.
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.
Very few hate crimes against LGBT are prosecuted in Russia. Between November 2012 and May 2018 in Russia (with the exception of the North Caucasus where anti-gay purges were reported), at least 322 hate crimes were committed against LGBT people, during which 351 people were injured. All these crimes are related to physical violence. During this period, there were at least 14 killings of LGBT people motivated by homophobic or transphobic hatred, as well as 5 abductions of LGBT people (all of which were accompanied by homophobic / transphobic bullying and physical abuse). The most common type of crime is physical attacks on LGBT people committed when the attacker becomes aware of the victim’s sexual orientation or transgender status. Since 2012, the NGO "Coming out" with the participation of the NGO "LGBT network" has documented 138 such attacks.
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