In a controversial ruling, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court has fined a Russian music channel, Tochka TV, for airing a music video that allegedly contains "LGBT propaganda."
The video in question is the 2012 single “Strannik” (Wanderer) by popular pro-war singer Nikolai Baskov. The court's decision has sparked debates and drawn attention to the ongoing restrictions on LGBT representation in Russia, according to The Moscow Times.
The court determined that Baskov’s music video, set in an imagined Roman Empire orgy, depicted a romantic relationship between two men, violating Russia’s laws against LGBT propaganda. Tochka TV has been ordered to pay a fine of 1 million rubles ($11,000) for broadcasting the video.
The judgment further stated that the video portrays an atmosphere of "hedonism and debauchery," with repeated scenes suggesting non-verbal interaction between individuals of the same biological sex in a sexual context. This ruling aligns with Russia's increasingly stringent stance on LGBT rights and content.
Nikolai Baskov, 47, is known for his staunch support of Russia's military actions, including the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. He has been a vocal defender of the Kremlin's policies and was awarded the Order of Honor by President Vladimir Putin in October for his contributions to national culture and art.
This incident reflects the broader context of LGBT rights in Russia, which have seen significant erosion over the past decade. Putin's 2013 law banning LGBT "propaganda" towards minors was expanded last year to prohibit such content for all ages.
The Russian Supreme Court recently labeled the so-called "international LGBT movement" as extremist, leading to potential prison sentences for individuals convicted of involvement in such organizations.