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Waiting for a Soviet Reunion

Will the people of this disputed enclave ever reclaim the good old days of the U.S.S.R?

For many post-Soviet states, the last 25 years have been an exercise in nation building, slowly extricating themselves from long heritages of Russian control. But in little Moldova, a mostly Romanian-speaking nation squashed between Romania and the Ukraine, there’s a small strip of land where you can still find the Soviet hammer and sickle flying over government facilities.

The Moldovan government doesn’t approve of this symbol. And you can certainly bet they don’t approve of thousands of Russian soldiers tromping around the region either. But there’s very little the state can do about any of this, because it’s all happening in the self-declared independent Pridnestrovian Moldovian Republic, better known as Transnistria.

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Slideshows

A Brief Glimpse into the Frightening Attitude Towards Gays in Russia.

This unsettling video speaks for itself – it’s simply not safe for homosexuals in Russia.

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Videos

Activists Troll Russian Subs With Pro-Gay Underwater Neon Sailor

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society’s gyrating mascot shakes his booty at fascism off the coast of Stockholm.

Russia, as a country, is not exactly “queer-friendly.” Over the last few years, they’ve made the promotion of “gay propaganda” to minors a jail-able offence, have tried to prevent the adoption of Russian children to families living in countries where same-sex marriage is legal, and, on a tangential note, even unofficially banned twerking. This has inflamed the global community, which has tried everything from boycotts to high profile protests to draw attention to these injustices. Sweden, however, has decided to take definitive action. Recently, Swedish activists, after a series of “unwanted navel intrusions from Russia” that alarmed the relatively peaceful Nordic country, decided to fight Russian fascism with their own unique brand of soft power. The activists, working on behalf of an organization called The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS), have created and installed electric underwater signs off the coast of Stockholm that feature a dancing (gyrating) sailor in his underwear, with words in both Russian and English that say “Welcome to Sweden: Gay since 1944.” The sign is in reference to the year Sweden legalized homosexuality, and became one of the first countries to do so openly. Humorously, the sign also sends out Morse code signals that declare “this way if you are gay.”

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Articles

Is Russophobia a Thing?

Yes, it sounds like paranoid, Putin-backed propaganda, but the term also sheds light on the West’s history of Russian stereotypes.

Screenshot from Eastern Promises

Earlier this month, the World Russian People’s Council, an international organization whose goal is to promote a positive future for the motherland, announced its intention to create a new Center for the Study of Russophobia. Members of the organization, founded and nominally led by the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Moscow, believe that Russia, Russian people, and Russian language speakers are often unfairly portrayed in the international media, much to their detriment. So as a service to Russia and an academic exercise, the WRPC now believes it must stand up to identify, explain, and correct the rough and cartoonish caricatures of its people—which it believes have become more common since the Ukraine conflict began in 2014.

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Articles

U.N. Defeats Russian Anti-Gay Measure

The organization’s same-sex couples will continue to receive staff benefits.

U.N. General Assembly. Photo by Patrick Gruban via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, a Russian-led bid to deny benefits to same-sex couples employed by the United Nations was solidly trounced—the General Assembly fifth committee, which handles many of the organization’s budget issues, voted 80-43 against the measure. The BBC reports that benefits will continue to extend to same-sex couples “regardless of whether or not gay marriage is legal in their country of origin.”

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Articles

Let the LGBT Community in Russia Know You Have Their Back

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are upon us, and all eyes are on Russia. The anti-gay propaganda laws recently passed there affect us deeply...


The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are upon us, and all eyes are on Russia. The anti-gay propaganda laws recently passed there affect us deeply because they prevent youth from seeing positive examples of happy, healthy LGBT people—people who have lived through hard times and now live wonderful, fulfilling lives with loving families and friends. These examples are essential because they allow young people who are struggling with their identity or orientation to realize that the happiness they see in those around them can be their happiness as well.

At the It Gets Better Project, we work to show lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth that their lives have the potential to be full of happiness, love, and safety. We work to inspire hope and encourage others to make changes that will provide a brighter future for LGBT youth. When we expanded our program internationally, we made a commitment to take these messages of support worldwide.

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Articles