Support The Moscow Times!

Nationalist Activists Harass LGBT Film Fest in Moscow

Regina Bakirova / Bok o bok Festival

Pro-Kremlin activists tried to shut down the opening of an LGBT film festival in Moscow on Thursday.

Two fringe nationalist groups called the National Liberation Movement (NOD) and SERB harassed attendees and poured ammonia on an employee of the Canadian Embassy in Moscow, organizers said. The two groups are known for attacks on opposition activists and art exhibits.

“People stood with posters depicting neo-Nazi and extremist symbols and acted aggressively,” the Side by Side festival organizers wrote on its Facebook page.

The organizers accused law enforcement of inaction and said that a senior officer attempted to put pressure on the venue to stop the festival. They later said that police took control of the security situation.

Photographs from the opening showed half a dozen people dressed in white medical coats waving the Soviet flag with NOD insignia. They were seen wearing tags that say “emergency psychiatric care.”

Police detained around 10 of the estimated 30 to 40 pro-Kremlin activists, the Dozhd TV news channel reported, citing a volunteer.

The Side by Side International LGBT Film Festival runs in St. Petersburg every year since 2008. Its offshoot in Moscow wraps up this Sunday.

According to a poll released earlier this week, an increasing number of Russians support equal rights for LGBT citizens. 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more