Uniformed Russian Cossacks Patrol Yekaterinburg Streets During Pride Week

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09/11/2020

Groups of uniformed men have been patrolling the streets of Yekaterinburg during Ural Pride Week, a weeklong festival organized by the city’s LGBT Resource Center. Witnesses claimed that the men, some of whom are dressed in protective suit and hats, were patrolling the park near the Drama Theater, near the Yeltsin Center, and along the Iset River, according to E1.RU, a news outlet for the Yekaterinburg area. The uniformed men are being accompanied by others in civilian clothes. The timing of the patrols appears to be due to Pride Week, which is expected to gather LGBTQ people and allies from throughout the region. Organizers had planned to conduct a tour of “queer places” in the city earlier in the week, but later canceled the event. The local prosecutor’s office previously issued a warning that Russian law prohibits the distribution and dissemination of gay “propaganda,” and said that it would be checking to ensure Pride Week organizers were not violating the law. If participants are thought to be violating the law, the men on patrol intend to detain them and turn them over to law enforcement for prosecution.

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