Russian Diplomat Warns Canada About Helping Gay Men Flee Persecution in Chechnya

Last week we reported that Canada had granted asylum to 31 gay men who fled the persecution via a secret underground railroad from the southern Russian republic of Chechnya, where reports of detention, torture and executions 

Russian diplomat Kirill Kalinin who is attached to the Russian Embassy in Ottawa has warned Canada that any unsanctioned help to gay Chechens will not be tolerated.

The Globe and Mail reports: 

Kirill Kalinin, who is a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Ottawa, said of the Canadian underground railroad operating in his country: “Any legal irregularities, if proven true, shall be duly investigated.” He made the comment in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail, and declined to elaborate on what laws might have been violated.

Because no Canadian government official has spoken about the program on the record, Mr. Kalinin had no further comment, adding, “We do not comment on media reports citing anonymous official ‘sources.’”

Since June, the Canadian government has been identifying people at risk and secretly bringing them from the safe houses to Canada. Government officials said all those who qualified and were willing to come to Canada are now here or safely on the way.

All told, about 70 gay men and women have escaped Chechnya, though a number still remain in Russia.

In May, the Russian LGBT Network said it was working with five countries in Europe and elsewhere to offer asylum to dozens of gay men..

About Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact:

1 thought on “Russian Diplomat Warns Canada About Helping Gay Men Flee Persecution in Chechnya

  1. Why should anyone be surprised by this? The Russian peoples have a history of this type of behavior. They are animals. The atrocities they perpetrated on Jewish people? Poland? Yes I do paint the whole Russian People with that brush.Since they do not have the testicular fortitude to stand up and object. Any people that do not stand up and object to these behaviors are animals. Vladimir Putin the worse of them all. Just because you dress a thug in Armani doesn’t doesn’t change what he is. You start hauling these people, like Mr Putin and these Imams and Leaders that perpetrate crimes against humanity on ANY minority group, to the Hague. Put them on trial in a DEMOCRATIC process. Then maybe they will re tool their thinking. Why? Because the world will not tolerate it!

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