His machinations in Ukraine may have stolen the spotlight, but Jay Michaelson reminds us that things are still very bad and getting even worse for Russia’s gays:
According to [Tatiana] Vinnichenko, [director of the LGBT organization Rakurs,] Russian authorities are putting pressure on all kinds of institutions—banks, landlords, employers—not to do business with LGBT people and LGBT organizations. Because licenses are required for just about everything in Russia, this “pressure” is existential. Banks are being told, “Dump your LGBT customers, or we’ll shut you down,” she said.
In Vinnichenko’s case, the threat is immediate and personal. A mother of two, she works for the Northern Federal University. Her employers have been pressured from above and have in turn demanded that she stop her advocacy work. “I am going on leave, because you cannot be fired while on leave, but as soon as I return, I expect to be fired,” she said. How she will replace her lost income, especially as she is publicly blacklisted, she has no idea.
Rakurs’s bank and landlord have come under similar pressure.
This is a form of eliminationism, further evidence that Putin’s regime is effectively a fascist one.
(Photo: Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)