The "Anti-Gay Law" in Russia

Discussion in 'Russian Society' started by Moscow Exile, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    Okay, he's another thing: Getting a telnyashka and some camo pants is very easy in Russia.

    I am certain that far from all the guys celebrating paratroopers day have ever been in the VDV. I submit that it's quite possible even that a majority weren't.

    Certainly I find it difficult to imagine that a majority of these fellows are legit.

    The ones surrounding the gay activist in his leather jacket may well be entirely real however as is supported by Mark's argument that due to high viewership they'd have been identified as fake if they were fake.

    Re-Stephen Fry.

    Amused that he cited Peter the Great as an example for Russia to follow on policy on homosexuality. What he probably doesn't know is that he was the first Russian leader to formally criminalize buggery LOL.

    Anyway, it's a curious fact that up until the 1970s or so, the criminalization of sodomy was actually deemed the civilized thing to do (only literally in the past few years has it became a major marker of a society's "progressiveness"). It was considered that only "barbarous" peoples permitted and engaged in it. IIRC, a lot of the statutes against it in places like Africa are actually relics of British influence. Too bad that the UK has "moved on" just as places like Uganda are "catching up" to where it was... a half-century ago.
  2. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Quite right! There are little kiosk-type shops all over in the underpasses in Moscow where they sell military gear, and it's all the real MacCoy.

    When I was a student here, I bought all my winter gear in Moscow. Some other British students had bought in the UK government surplus army greatcoats that had had all their insignia removed. They were absolutely useless for the Russian winter. Russian winter overcoats are heavily quilted inside. Anyway, I needed a winter hat - an ushanka. I have a large head size and I searched for ages for one in vain until a Russian told me that if I went to the big military store Voentorg (Military Store), I would certainly find my size.

    Voentorg was a very large place where you could buy military clothes, equipment and insignia for all the services. It caused a great scandal when it was demolished in the '90s. I went there and got a hat right away - no problem. And in the store I saw people buying rank insignia, ceremonial lanyards etc. They looked like parents who were buying gear for their recently conscripted sons and I remember thinking it strange that perhaps conscripts in the USSR had to kit themselves out with some gear. Anyway, I spied a Red Army standard issue belt and bought it. No problem.

    Upon my arrival back at the hostel where I had been billeted, a couple of my compatriots wanted to know where I'd got the belt. I told them, and off they dashed to Voentorg, only to come back disappointed. The girl at the belt counter had apparently taken one look at them and refused to serve them, saying they were neither Russian nor in the military. They must have both been at the time about twenty years old, whereas I was 39. They were both Londoners and had what to Russian ears is a distinct British accent when speaking Russian. I don't: Russians have always considered me "one of theirs" so to speak, someone from "the near abroad", usually from one of the Baltic states. Even when I spoke English in the USSR, they never believed I was British, thinking that all my fellow countrymen spoke RP British, as does, say, Alexander Mercouris.

    Anyway, the fact is, you can still easily rig yourself out in genuine military gear in Russia, which I always think is somewhat strange. Just check out Военторг on Yandex.
    AKarlin likes this.
  3. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Oh yeah! And I've just identified the thing that has been bugging me most of all about those "paras" who gave Kirill a hard time: ALL the gear that they're wearing is brand spanking new. And why is one of them wearing commando-style brand new gloves? And have you noticed the pristine decorative tassels dangling from the back of one of the "para's" brand new berets?

    In my experience, what the majority of former paras wear on their day of mass drunkenness is their old, treasured, somewhat worn-out and faded blue beret and their blue-and-white striped vest, their "telnyashka", which latter has often become uncomfortably tight for them since they last served with the Russian army's finest.

    Take a look again at the vests, berets, regimental badges and insignia, camouflaged gear and backpacks that Kirill's assailants are wearing.

    I cannot stress more emphatically that all these - including symbols of rank and regiment - are easily available anywhere in Russia.

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    All of the above - and much more - from here: ВОЕНТОРГ
  4. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    And from today's Washington Moscow Times: "Anti-Gay Law Violates Russian Children's Rights".

    "Governments should and must remain neutral in regards to both progressive and traditional values. Families that want to follow traditional values at home will have free will to do so. Under neutral laws, this would apply equally to families that follow progressive values..."

    And what are these "progressive values" one may ask? The author of the opinion piece goes on:

    "If a family feels that being gay is unacceptable and they treat their child in an abusive manner, the child has no right to emancipate themselves. However, if a child feels that a progressive family is wrong for them, this law will allow a child to emancipate themselves from a family that believes in LGBT equality. As a result, this makes the anti-gay propaganda law into a law enforcing inequality."

    And the author?

    A certain Robert Joseph Greene, who is "a Canadian author of Gay romance fiction".

    Well who'd have thought it!
  5. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    I should think that my case has been proven.

    see: GAYRUSSIA

    Translation:

    Kirill Kalugin has recognized one of the paratroopers who attacked him as notorious homophobe Dmitry Deyneko

    Now the gay activist wants prosecutors to determine the degree of guilt that the paratroop impersonators have.

    Petersburg LGBT activist Kirill Kalugin, who on the August 2 "Paratrooper Day" went to Palace Square in the Northern Capital with a picket in order to defend the rights of sexual minorities, has decided to appeal to the Prosecutor's Office in connection with the illegal actions of his assailants.

    According to the young man, he recognized one of the "commandos" who attacked him and tried to strangle him.

    Kirill Kalugin has stated that the man is a known homophobe, Dmitry Deyneko, who, firstly, has no relationship with airborne troops, though he was dressed that day in a paratrooper uniform [translator's italics - ME]; and, secondly, he is known for having made several attacks on gay activists.

    Currently, Deyneko is still on trial for an attack on activists after one of the LGBT rallies in St. Petersburg.

    Kirill Kalugin wants prosecutors to determine the degree of guilt that the paratrooper impersonators who used violence to prevent the picket have.

    It should be recalled that on August 2 the gay activist displayed on Palace Square a rainbow flag with the words "This is propaganda for tolerance." He was immediately surrounded by a group of paratroopers, but the police arrived and prevented bloodshed.

    End of translation.

    (By the way, what's with this GAYRUSSIA site? I thought that Russian homosexuals that put their heads above the parapet seriously endangered their health and life expectancy.)

    Oh yes! And the above revelation explains the "Putin is a queer!" statement made by one of the "paratroopers" to the cameras: they were not paras but nationalists, who are not, as a rule, over enamoured with Putin and his "regime".
  6. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    More evidence for my theory that all this is payback for Snowden.
    If Snowden is regarded as a whistle blower rather than a traitor by Americans (and he is 55-34
    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institute...titute/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=1930 ) then you can't rant on about evil Putin stabbing you in the back.
    So find another topic, mobilise the troops and drown out any inclination of 55% of Americans to start to think that evil Putin maybe did something right.

    Note BTW how evenly distributed across the various divisions the opnion is (age being the only serious change I can see).
  7. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    All of the above - and much more - from here: ВОЕНТОРГ[/quote]

    An off-topic question occurs to me. Do outdoor types in Russia -- hunters, hikers, fishermen, campers and so on -- buy their outdoor gear in places like this? Is their a shortage of outdoor gear stores in Russia.

    I've always wondered why Putin in his outdoor adventures is wearing military clothing as are all teh people in his group.

    (In Canada, 30-40 years ago a lot of outdoors type bought stuff in army surplus outlets but these days there are plenty of outdoors stores. So the Cdn camping fraternity looks less and less like a worn out army.)
  8. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Do outdoor types in Russia -- hunters, hikers, fishermen, campers and so on -- buy their outdoor gear in places like this? Is their a shortage of outdoor gear stores in Russia.

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    Yes, the main clientele of these shops are hunters and fishermen. Outdoor wear is nearly always military or military-style wear. However, since the '90s I've notice Canadian winter gear on sale here, especially "thermal boots". The "army shops" here sell second hand and new military wear. In winter, ice-hole fishermen wear military parkas and valenki, the latter being felt overboots that are unique to Russia, I think. (See below.)

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  9. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    Yes, the main clientele of these shops are hunters and fishermen. Outdoor wear is nearly always military or military-style wear. However, since the '90s I've notice Canadian winter gear on sale here, especially "thermal boots". The "army shops" here sell second hand and new military wear. In winter, ice-hole fishermen wear military parkas and valenki, the latter being felt overboots that are unique to Russia, I think. (See below.)

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    Thanks for this. You'll notice, BTW, that there are many comments whenever VVP does one of his outdoor stunts on how military he look. (Greatest example was calling the cross he wears around his neck dog tags!. You see what you want to see.
    The Cdn military issue severe cold boot is valenki (shoe packs we call them) with nylon outer and strong soles and a lot more than that. Very warm indeed. And work in the wet which valenki do not.
    I have a rather industial pair of valenki I wear shovelling shoe.

    But, as I say, with the multitude of outdoor stores all over, the military surplus style has rather disappeared.
  10. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    "I have a rather industial pair of valenki I wear shovelling shoe."

    I BLAME BILL GATES.

    industrial and snow.
  11. Alexander Mercouris

    Alexander Mercouris Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    I just want to say that though I am sure the event in Palace Square was set up, I have no doubt the people involved were genuine paratroopers. There would be absolutely no point in staging such an incident if the paratroopers were fake paratroopers, a ruse that would be quickly exposed and which would backfire on its makers. Moreover as we saw the paratroopers were arrested. If they were fake paratroopers the police would have quickly established the fact and we would all know it by now.

    Setting up an incident of this sort does not require going to all the trouble of finding pro gay tough guys willing to dress up as paratroopers to stage a fight. I assume the incident happened on the paratroopers' holiday. Palace Square is an obvious place for paratroopers to congregate on their holiday and given their known attitudes and their rowdy behaviour on their holiday what would be simpler then going to Palace Square with a banner that would be bound to provoke them whilst tipping off the media to come and watch the show? Though Kirill would face the prospect of violence the presence of the media would ensure that things didn't go too far. Besides there is no doubt he had his supporters in Palace Square to rescue him if things went too far. One of the things that strongly points to the whole incident being deliberately staged is the presence of the person on the motorcycle who retrieves the pieces of his banner at the end. Obviously I can't say this for certain but his behaviour points strongly to his being one of Kirill's supporters.

    Please remember that deliberately provoking violence in order to appear a victim is a classic protest tactic going all the way back to Mahatma Gandhi.

    In the event the police intervened before anything untoward happened. The speed and strength with which they appeared on the scene suggests that they too might have been tipped off (by one of the journalists?) but of course Palace Square is a place that is anyway carefully policed and given the well known rowdy behaviour of the paratroopers on their holiday it is not surprising that the police should have been keeping an eye on them and had OMON reinforcements on call. It is nonetheless impressive (and important!) that they acted so promptly and decisively.
  12. Alexander Mercouris

    Alexander Mercouris Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    I have found courtesy of a "debate" in the Guardian on the Olympic boycott (which is also worth reading for its detachment from reality) a link to the following gay rights blog in the US. It's misrepresentation of the new law simply has to be read to be believed.

    http://americablog.com/2013/07/russia-olympics-sochi-gay-law-putin.html

    It's not clear to me whether the writer of this blog has actually read the law or where he gets his fantasies about it from. However I gather that this is quite an influential blog not just in the US but amongst gay rights militants so it may be that some of the bizarre ideas that are floating around about the law (that it criminalises the holding of hands etc) come ultimately from this blog.
  13. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    Can anyone give a reference to the actual text in Russian of the law/amendment please?
  14. Alexander Mercouris

    Alexander Mercouris Ship Secretary (11th class)

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  15. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    I want the original in Russian please
  16. Alexander Mercouris

    Alexander Mercouris Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    I am afraid for that as a non Russian speaker I cannot help. Possibly someone else can? It can't be difficult to find.
  17. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    The Kirill Kalugin Story


    See: http://grani.ru/people/1935/


    No time to translate, but in the above link a comment from “Radio Freedom” states “they were certainly not representatatives of airborne troops”, that “I recognize many nationalists that threw stones at ‘[Gay] Pride’ a month ago and they were ‘Cossacks’ then.”

    And I state one again that the “paratroopers” are all wearing brand new berets, vests, camo gear.

    Real paras don’t turn up on August 2 in brand new gear: they wear their old treasured blue berets and striped vests.

    As regards these mimics risking retaliation from real paras: the event seems to have taken place when the square looks near deserted – except for the horde of photo-journalists present. Early morning, I should think, and before real former paras descend half-pissed on the city.

    In all the pictures that I have seen of the “paras” in question, only one of them looks the part: he is the eldest amongst them, in his late-30s/early-40s, slightly overweight, doesn’t work out. The rest look like bodybuilders and are all togged up in spanking new gear with brand new cap badges and insignia. One, for some reason or other, also wears cut-away gloves – new ones, of course.
  18. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    A further point that I should like to add concerning this question of whether Kirill’s assailants were or were not paratroopers is this: on “Paratrooper Day” not all that participate in the celebrations are serving members of the airborne forces. In fact, from my observations of this yearly event, the majority of the “paratroops” – if not indeed the vast majority of them – who celebrate their day are FORMER troopers.

    I repeat once again, these ex-paratroopers appear on August 2 in all shapes and sizes and in various degrees of intoxication, ranging from very drunk to extremely drunk; they are almost to a man kitted out in their old blue beret and striped vest: they seldom appear in full combat gear. I should imagine that “real” paratroopers on that day are doing what real paratroopers do, and that does not include bringing the name of their regiment into disrepute.

    It’s the same on “Navy Day” the week before: the rowdy, drunken “sailors” that mob Moscow and other Russian cities on that day wear only bits and bobs of their former uniform – usually that stripy vest again and their sailors’s regulation cap (which always looks like a WWII German Kriegsmarine cap to me). If they’re were “real” sailors, the Russian Navy Shore Patrol would have a field day and there would be no place to hold the numbers of drunken sailors that would, without any shadow of a doubt whatsoever, be arrested and charged UNDER MILITARY LAW for such mass drunken behaviour on shore.

    The same goes for serving paratroops – “real” paratroops: they would be immediately arrested by the Russian military police for such outrageous behaviour that is shown year in, year out by former troopers.

    I do occasionally on the Moscow streets or in the metro see “real” paratroopers in full parade uniform and with name, rank and number on their tunics together with symbols of rank, proficiency and ceremonial lanyards: they are always stone cold sober, sometimes with a wife or girlfriend. These are young men who have finished their conscription service and have left the service, though are still reservists, and are heading for home.
    And the following year they will, no doubt, celebrate August 2.

    Now those men who surrounded Kalugin on Palace Square may very well have been former paratroopers. One of them Kalugin claims to have positively identified as an infamous “homoloathe” (my terminology: I hardly think that Kalugin’s assailants fear homosexuals). Others have identified the “paratrooper” in question, stating he last appeared at a “gay” protest as a Cossack – and he very well may be a Cossack and thinks he has the right to wear a “Cossack uniform”.

    Whatever the case may be, I think it is misleading to call Kalugin’s attackers “paratroopers”: some of them may be former paratroopers; some may have no association with the Russian army whatsoever. Nevertheless, “paratroopers” is what the Western press will call them, that’s for sure.

    One final point about the ease in Russia of acquiring military accoutrements: I remember when the Soviet Union folded up and there was an apparently spontaneous undertaking to remove Derzhinksky’s statue from Lubyanka Square. A mobile crane appeared and Iron Felix’s likeness was duly removed. Noticeable amongst the crowd on Lubyanka Square during this escapade, which lasted for a couple of days, was a young man who wore all the time a Soviet tank crew member’s black padded head protector. Western journalists made a bee-line for this lad, who was more than willing to give interviews to all and sundry. He was seemingly having the time of his life and the journalists got it into their heads that he was a renegade Red Army soldier who had become the leader of the mob.

    He wasn’t. He’d never been the army, let alone a tank. He was just a Jack the Lad having some fun whilst Gorbachev was selling his country out.
  19. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    More concerning the Kirill Kalugin story:


    See: http://swamp-samburov.livejournal.com/84306.html

    Type in yandex.ru “Кирилл Калугин десантники” and you’ll find the above and many more similar comments. The white-ribbon radio station Ekho Moskvy also says that those men who attacked Kalugin were not paras.
  20. Alexander Mercouris

    Alexander Mercouris Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Masha Gessen has fired off about the gay law in this article in the Guardian.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/11/anti-gay-laws-Russia

    Nowhere in the article does Masha Gessen disclose to Guardian readers that she is a US citizen, has been a longstanding opposition activist, has written a ferociously critical biography of Putin and that she was briefly (until she was sacked in not entirely clear circumstances) a manager for Radio Liberty. The impression instead is that she is simply a lesbian Russian woman and parent and a human rights activist. Like so much else Masha Gessen writes I find this disingenuous to say the least.

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