Moscow Police storming gay clubs after ‘extremist’ ban on LGBT community

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.03 - 2023 12:28 PM CET

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Moscow police conducted raids on gay-friendly nightclubs, bars, and saunas in the city center overnight, according to Russian news site Moscow Times

These raids followed a recent decision by Russia's top court to ban the "international LGBT movement," raising concerns of widespread persecution of LGBT individuals and rights groups.

One of the raids occurred at a club on Malaya Yakimanka Ulitsa, where approximately 300 people had gathered for an LGBT community event.

The police entered the premises under the pretext of a drug search and detained an unspecified number of people.

Eyewitnesses reported that during the event, police stopped the music and began entering the halls. They also photographed passports without permission, according to an anonymous witness.

Similar actions were reported at a gay men's sauna near Tsvetnoy Bulvar and at a club near the Avtozavodskaya metro station, as well as a men's strip club near the Polyanka metro station.

It's important to note that some of the clubs refuted these reports, calling them "fakes." In a video posted on social media, the manager of the club Mono questioned the timing of the raid and expressed disbelief.

This crackdown on LGBT-friendly establishments follows Russia's recent ban on the "international LGBT movement," categorizing it as an extremist group.

The move is part of a broader trend of conservative values promoted by President Vladimir Putin, coinciding with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. If applied to individuals, this "extremist" label could result in severe legal consequences for LGBT individuals residing in Russia.