A Moscow court has fined Alphabet’s Google <GOOGL.O> 3 million roubles ($38,600) on Thursday for failing to delete YouTube videos it said promoted “LGBT propaganda” and “false information”
Over the last year Moscow has levied dozens of fines against Western tech companies as part of a drive to ramp up control over what Russian internet users see online.
Under the new expanded law, which widens Russia’s interpretation of what qualifies as “LGBT propaganda” and has been heavily criticized by independent human rights groups, any action or the spreading of any information that is considered an attempt to promote homosexuality in public, online, or in films, books or advertising, could incur a heavy fine.
Russian prosecutors said Google had refused to remove several videos posted on YouTube, including one from a blogger deemed a “foreign agent” by Moscow about how same-sex couples raise children and about the LGBT community in St. Petersburg.
Alphabet’s Google filed for bankruptcy last year after authorities seized its bank accounts following a December 2021 fine of 7.2 billion roubles ($92.6 million) over what Russian authorities said was the company’s “repeated failure” to delete content.
The Bolshoi Ballet is an internationally renowned classical ballet company based at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia.
On Wednesday, the Bolshoi theatre announced it has dropped a contemporary ballet about the legendary Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev from its repertoire following the expansion of Russia’s ban on “LGBT propaganda”.
This makes any portrayal of homosexuality – such as Nureyev’s relationships with men after his defection from the Soviet Union in 1961, which the ballet touches on – impossible.
“‘Nureyev’ was removed from the repertoire in connection with the law … where issues related to the promotion of ‘non-traditional values’ are stipulated absolutely unequivocally,” Vladimir Urin, general director of the Bolshoi, told a news conference on Wednesday.
The ballet, choreographed by Kirill Serebrennikov, has had a troubled history in Russia. It premiered in December 2017, several months late, after the then-culture minister reportedly called it gay propaganda, and has not been performed since 2018. Performances scheduled for 2022 were abruptly cancelled after Serebrennikov publicly blamed Russia for the conflict in Ukraine.
Serebrennikov is one of Russia’s leading film, theatre and television directors and stage designers, has made his frustration clear.
Below you can watch the best of talented ballet star Rudolph Nureyev.
Russian soldiers have shot dead a Ukrainian Conductor Yuriy Kerpatenko in his home after he refused to take part in a concert in occupied Kherson, “intended by the occupiers to demonstrate the so-called ‘improvement of peaceful life’”, the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page.
Via The Guardian:“The concert on 1 October was intended to feature the Gileya chamber orchestra, of which Kerpatenko was the principal conductor, but he “categorically refused to cooperate with the occupants”, the statement said. Kerpatenko, who was also the principal conductor of Kherson’s Mykola Kulish Music and Drama Theatre, had been posting defiant messages on his Facebook page until May. The Kherson regional prosecutor’s office in Ukraine has launched a formal investigation “on the basis of violations of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder”. Family members outside Kherson lost contact with the conductor in September, it said.”
There’s Russian “culture” for you, ladies and gentlemen.
We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends and salute his courage and integrity while condemning the fascist brutality of the Russian forces.#PetTexthttps://t.co/PTTD3bMSM1
“We propose to generally extend the ban on such propaganda regardless of the age of the audience (offline, in the media, on the internet, social networks and online cinemas),” the head of the State Duma’s information committee, Alexander Khinshtein, said on his Telegram social media channel.
Homosexuality was a criminal offence in Russia until 1993 and classed as a mental illness until 1999. But homosexuality is still disapproved of by most Russians thanks to the Russian Orthodox Church, and same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections available to opposite-sex couples and are subject to harassment and violence.
Russia’s laws have received international condemnation from human rights campaigners, and media outlets that even display of LGBT symbols, such as the rainbow flag, have resulted in arrests, and incited homophobic violence, like is documented in the Channel 4 documentary Hunted which followed anti-gay groups as they lured young gay men into traps where they were humiliated, with the footage later posted online.
President Vladimir Putin will send a “doomsday” warning to the West when he leads celebrations on Monday marking the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, brandishing Russia’s vast firepower while its forces fight on in Ukraine. Defiant in the face of deep Western isolation since he ordered the invasion of Russia’s neighbors, Putin will speak on Red Square before a parade of troops, tanks, rockets and intercontinental ballistic missiles. A fly-past over St Basil’s Cathedral will include supersonic fighters, Tu-160 strategic bombers and, for the first time since 2010, the Il-80 “doomsday” command plane, which would carry Russia’s top brass in the event of a nuclear war, the Defense Ministry said.
Can’t we just drop a bomb on the parade and be done with all this shit?
Homophobic Russian MP Vitaly Milonov is presenting a reality show where contestants have to guess which person is gay in order to win a cash prize. I’m Not Gay is a series that sees eight men move into a country house together. At the end of each episode, they vote to eliminate a contestant they suspect of being gay. If they correctly guess, then they share two million rubles (£21,000), but if the homosexual man dodges detection he wins the prize. In the first episode, which has been shared on YouTube, Milonov tells the contestants: “I hope that you will quickly figure out the gay.”
In 2013, Milonov declared that gay men “deserve to be punched and kicked” after a gay man was blinded in a hate crime assault. That came days after he led a police raid on a gay Halloween party.
In 2014, he attempt to ban Eurovision from being shown in Russia due to that year’s win by “pervert” Conchita Wurst. and in 2017, he attempted to ban Disney’s live-action version of Beauty And The Beast as “gay propaganda.”
So we’re the first “tributes” for the Russian Hunger Games.
In separate hearings, a Moscow court ordered Meta to pay four million rubles (S$74,000) and TikTok 2 million rubles for failing to delete content with LGBT “propaganda”, news agency Interfax reported. Since the start of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, Russia has ramped up pressure on social networks, banning Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
I know what many of you are thinking: Will that offset the money Russia sent Zuckerbeast to allow their disinformation?
The Kuibyshevsky District Court in St. Petersburg, Russia ordered last week that theLGBT+ Human Rights Charitable Foundation Sphere be liquidated. The Sphere Foundation was founded in 2011 by Russian LGBT rights activist, Igor Kochetkov.
In February, Russia’s Justice Ministry filed a lawsuit seeking to “liquidate” [disband & dissolve] Sphere Foundation arguing the group’s activities run contrary to “traditional values.”
Judge Tatiana Kuzovkina ruled in favour of the Justice Ministry’s argument that the activities of Sphere ran contrary to the Russian state policy designed to preserve, expand and develop [the country’s] human capital.” The ministry also claimed that Sphere of spreading “LGBT views” and working with people under the age of 18, aspiring, among other things, to “change Russian federal legislation regarding the LGBT movement” – Russia'[s infamous and deadly “gay propaganda” law.
“With Sphere, the authorities have explicitly disclosed their political and anti-rights motivation from the starting block. After years of hindering the work of LGBT rights activists with the use of the “foreign agent” and “gay propaganda” laws, the authorities now demand the organization be shut down in the name of “traditional values.” The courts should not be compliant with this act of political, homophobic censorship that blatantly violate Russia’s human rights obligations.”
By the end of 2021, the Far Eastern Center for LGBT and Victims of Violence “Mayak” and the St. Petersburg LGBT initiative group “Coming Out” were also registered as that of “foreign agents”.
Earlier this month the Justice Ministry on April 8, 2022 canceled the registration of Human Rights Watch, along with Amnesty International and 13 other offices of foreign nongovernmental organizations and foundations. Human Rights Watch had maintained an office in Russia for 30 years. The action was announced just days after an appeals court upheld the liquidation of another of Russia’s human rights organizations.
“Anheuser-Busch InBev will sell its stake in a Russian joint venture, taking a $1.1 billion hit as the world’s largest brewer joins the global move to exit operations following the country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The move comes in the wake of decisions across the beer industry to halt operations in Russia. Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S on Thursday cut its earnings guidance and said it’s facing a $1.4 billion write down as it moves ahead with plans to exit Russia.”
Russia was for years one of the world’s fastest-growing beer markets, but has been a tough environment since the global financial crisis.
A man on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for attacking police and storming the Capital during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol domestic terrorist attack is now seeking asylum in Belarus, Russia according to state-run tv.
Evan Neumann, 48, is wanted in the United States on charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, as well as for assaulting, resisting and obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder.
Neumann sold his California home in spring and was thought to have moved to Ukraine to evade arrest, ABC News reported this summer. Neumann “sought justice and asked uncomfortable questions” following the 2020 U.S. elections disputed by ex-President Donald Trump, the presenter added, “but lost almost everything and is being persecuted by the U.S. government.”