Russian security forces raided gay clubs and bars across Moscow last night, less than 48 hours after the country’s top court banned what it called the “global LGBTQ movement” as an extremist organization.
Police searched venues across the Russian capital, including a nightclub, a male sauna and a bar that hosted LGBTQ parties, under the pretext of a drug raid.
The raids follow a decision by Russia’s Supreme Court to label the country’s LGBTQ “movement” as an extremist organization.
The ruling, which was made in response to a lawsuit filed by the Justice Ministry, is the latest step in a decadelong crackdown on LGBTQ rights under President Vladimir Putin, who has emphasized “traditional family values” during his 24 years in power.
Russian LGBTQ activists say the broad definition of the latest ruling means that the authorities could potentially crack down on any individuals or groups who are deemed to be part of the movement. Putin intends to eradicate Russia’s LGBTQ community.