Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Police Raid ‘Anti-War LGBT Party’ – State TV

Video grab

Anti-riot police raided an activist meeting near St. Petersburg that state television claimed was an “LGBT party against the special military operation” in Ukraine, the independent news website Mediazona reported Thursday.

The broadcasters Ren-TV and published identical reports of the Feb. 18 raid showing masked agents lining up several attendees and asking them about their affiliations with the so-called “LGBT movement.”

Russia’s Supreme Court banned the “international LGBT movement,” a group that does not formally exist, in November. The move sparked fears that authorities could use the vague designation to carry out sweeping persecutions of LGBTQ+ people.

“[Police] found items with LGBT symbols banned in Russia, suspicious documents and handwritten opposition materials,” a TV reporter said.

Mediazona said one of the “opposition materials” was a sheet of paper with questions about a person’s worries and hopes for the future. The answers written on the paper were reportedly related to the invasion of Ukraine and the persecution of activists.

Citing the private Telegram channel of one of the unidentified attendees, Mediazona said the “party” was in fact a support group meeting that included young transgender people.

The participant said police officers held them and about 10 other attendees face-down on the floor for four hours, pulled their hair and kicked them while subjecting them to verbal abuse.

Mediazona noted that both Ren TV and are owned by the major private media holding National Media Group.

National Media Group is owned by Russian billionaire Yury Kovalchuk, a sanctioned banker close to President Vladimir Putin.

Although said the attendees were at risk of several criminal charges, Mediazona noted that the report made no mention of whether they were ultimately charged.

… 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.


Read more