Insecure and isolated: The ‘illegal’ life of Russia’s LGBT citizens

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12/06/2023

Draconian laws and repression are forcing Russia’s LGBT community out of the country, but those who cannot escape face an increasingly grim fate. “My friends and I definitely feel very insecure and isolated,” said Sophia Agapov, a member of St Petersburg’s LGBT community. “Literally every single step can lead to prosecution.” “It’s like a second corona lockdown. It is better to stay home,” she told Euronews via text. Over the weekend, gay-friendly nightclubs, bars and saunas in central Moscow were raided by police. The heavy-handed blitz – which reportedly saw people ordered to lie face down – came one day after Russia’s top court banned the “international LGBT movement,” claiming it was “extremist”.

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