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Russian Government Declares “LGBTQ Movement” Extremist

The Russian flag flies through the sky during the daylight. The moon is faintly visible in the background. The flag is tricolor: white on top, blue in the middle, red on bottom.

On Friday, March 22nd, Russia added the “LGBTQ Movement” to its list of terrorist and extremist organizations. The list is maintained by Rosfinmonitoring, The Federal Service for Financial Monitoring. President Vladimir Putin oversees this agency, which has the power to freeze the bank accounts of any organization or entity on the list without a court order. 

The decision to add the LGBTQ+ movement to this list is in line with a ruling made by Russia’s Supreme Court last November. In that case, the court decided that LGBTQ+ activists should be designated as extremists, a move that caused LGBTQ+ people in the country to fear arrest and persecution. This controversial move sparked outrage both domestically and abroad and comes amidst a backdrop of increasing crackdowns on dissent and civil liberties in the country.

This newest development, announced by Russian authorities, effectively equates advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights with terrorism, marking a significant escalation in the government’s repression of minority groups. International organizations and foreign governments have voiced their concerns, with calls for Russia to reverse its decision and uphold its obligations under international human rights law. 

Under the new designation, individuals and organizations associated with the LGBTQ+ movement could face severe legal repercussions, including imprisonment and asset seizure. Many fear that the move will further marginalize and endanger an already vulnerable community, subjecting them to heightened discrimination, violence, and persecution. In fact, the first two people—an administrator at a bar/club and the business’ art director—have already been arrested following this new ruling. 

Rosfinmonitoring’s labeling of the LGBTQ+ movement as extremist reflects a broader pattern of repression and authoritarianism in Russia, where the government increasingly targets dissenting voices and minority groups. It comes amid a crackdown on civil society, independent media, and political opposition, raising alarms about the erosion of democratic norms and the rule of law in the country.

Despite the government’s efforts to suppress LGBTQ+ rights advocacy, Russian activists are still committed to fighting for equality. As the international community rallies behind LGBTQ+ rights in Russia, pressure is mounting on the government to reconsider its stance and respect the fundamental freedoms and dignity of all its citizens. The battle for LGBTQ+  rights in Russia is far from over, but activists the world over remain steadfast in their commitment to achieving equality and justice for all.




Lawrence Chijioke
Lawrence Chijioke
Lawrence Chijioke is a medical student, visual artist, and writer based in Lagos State, Nigeria. He loves everything about the queer community and is actively involved in fighting homophobia against queer Africans through his art works and write-ups. In his leisure time, he plays the violin and listens to classical music.