Saturday, April 6, 2013


Несогласие в КС оппозиции - Эксперт Online - 4/5/2013 - (author unknown)


LGBT activists will send photographs of fascist graffiti in St. Petersburg to Governor Georgy Poltavchenko during the Week Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the annual series of events aimed at drawing attention to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity that is being held in the city this week.

Russia’s Fertile Grounds for Homophobia - By Victor Davidoff

Russia’s Fertile Grounds for Homophobia

Russia’s Fertile Grounds for Homophobia

By Victor Davidoff
Published: March 20, 2013 (Issue # 1751)

For Vitaly Milonov, a deputy in the St. Petersburg legislature and author of the law against homosexual propaganda, his meeting with author and gay activist Stephen Fry on Thursday was, in his words, “fascinating, like contact with an alien civilization.” Milonov is probably the only regional politician in Russia with nationwide name recognition. Now, his nonstop war against Russian homosexuals has given him worldwide notoriety.
Milonov is like that broken clock that is right twice a day. His comment about an “alien civilization” is, in fact, true. Fry comes from a world where an openly gay man could be asked by the BBC to do a documentary film on homosexuals in the developing world. According to Milonov: “The authorities should think about the socially valuable population and not about the problems of perverts, like AIDS. Fighting against sodomy is an essential public health measure.”
For Milonov, the universe isn’t a comfortable place. In his version of Star Wars, the battle of good and evil is being won by evil, especially in the West. Milonov has asserted through Twitter that in Europe “sodomites have taken over the mass media. … By modern European standards a Christian family is less desirable than a sodomite colony.” He also wrote that Britain “has been destroyed by liberalism.”
But the rest of the world is also in danger. “After the death of the Great Hugo [Chavez], Americans want to execute another color revolution,” Milonov tweeted, and that “the gray smoke of fire and brimstone seeps through every crack” of the Internet.
Milonov’s world wasn’t always so black and white. He began his political career in the early 1990s as a libertarian and published books about libertarianism in St. Petersburg. Then he followed the path of the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. Milonov had his first revelation when he was an aide to a State Duma deputy for the now-defunct Christian-Democratic Union. Apparently, Milonov had a vision that he couldn’t enter Russian politics with libertarian views so he quickly seized onto religion, first joining the Baptist Church. Shortly before Vladimir Putin came to power in 1999, Milonov had another vision and converted to the Russian Orthodox Church. As a twice born-again Christian, he was elected to the St. Petersburg legislature.
But if Apostle Paul stopped his persecution of dissidents after his revelation, Milonov got started with persecution after his. He has been the author of the virulent law against gays in St. Petersburg and gained global notoriety for trying to bring the singers Madonna and Lady Gaga to court for their performances in his home city. He thanked the prosecutor’s office for banning the child-free groups on the Internet and demanded that these “creeps be prosecuted and isolated from society.”
Given all this, it was no wonder that the Milonov-Fry summit was a meeting of representatives from different galaxies. They couldn’t even find a common language. Milonov concluded that “Stephen Fry has a very small lexicon. Throughout our conversation he just kept saying, ‘Are you serious?’”
Of course, homophobic freaks like Milonov aren’t a solely Russian phenomenon. They can be found all over the world, from Alaska to Kamchatka. The problem in Russia is that Milonov isn’t an exception. A recent poll done by the Levada Center showed that 85 percent of Russians were against single-sex marriages, and 87 percent didn’t want gay parades. But that’s good news in comparison with the rest of the survey results, in which a significant part of the population not only disapproves of gays and lesbians but wants fascist measures to be used against them. 16 percent want to isolate them from society, 22 percent want compulsory treatment for them and 5 percent want to “liquidate” them.
But Russian society’s attitude towards homosexuals is just part of its overall xenophobia. Comments on Fry’s visit on the blogosphere mentioned that he was Jewish as often as that he was gay. The blogger lelik wrote in his blog on the Moskovsky Komsomolets site: “I recently found out that 10 percent of Jews are gay. That’s why they’ve come out of the closet and gotten so bold and obnoxious. Before you couldn’t tell if someone was Jewish. But now you see them
State homophobia is flourishing in this fertile soil. Using the St. Petersburg law as its model, the Duma has already passed in the first reading a draft law banning “homosexual propaganda” nationwide.
Meanwhile, the meeting with such a prominent gay activist as Fry seems to have inspired Milonov to new heights. Now he wants to prevent teenagers from attending an upcoming concert of Adam Lambert in St. Petersburg. In his letter to the prosecutor’s office, Milonov wrote that Lambert might commit “illegal acts” during his show since “he is a homosexual and flaunts it.”
So the Milonov Show is not over. Maybe Milonov agrees with Queen’s legendary soloist Freddie Mercury that “the show must go on.” Too bad for Milonov, Mercury was gay, too.

Victor Davidoff is a Moscow-based writer and journalist who follows the Russian blogosphere in his biweekly column.

Russia’s Relations with the CIS Countries: Outlook for 2020 -

Russia’s Relations with the CIS Countries: Outlook for 2020


"Cultural issues suggest a very real need for Russian soft power. The CIS and broader FSU space offer the most appropriate platform for the realization of Russia's comparative advantages in this field. The Russian language and culture, including the pop culture, are some of Russia's traditional soft power tools. Despite major losses in their audience reach, in the 2010s the Russian language and culture should go on to retain their significance, although the key lies in Moscow's ability to lead the post-Soviet states in economic development, education, science and technology.
To this end, quality higher education appears to have a special role. If Russian universities were to soar in global ratings, that would mean that a greater number of more gifted CIS students would seek their education in Russia. Consequently, Russia would become more attractive for these new states' elites and societies. If these educated young people then go on to obtain jobs in Russia, the country would benefit from enhanced technological and cultural potential.
The effectiveness of Russian soft power in the CIS could be also improved through Russian media and Russian Internet becoming acknowledged as the most reliable source of information and vehicle for the dissemination of new ideas across the entire expanse of the FSU, especially in countries with tougher political regimes.
Religion is, however, an absolutely exceptional matter. The Russian Orthodox Church has displayed the clear tendency to spread its canonical domain over Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. In doing so, it faces a difficult dilemma – either to keep growing and moving towards a national Russian church or to reexamine its role in this attempt to turn supranational in the 21st century. The 2010s should show which direction the Moscow Patriarchate is willing to take. Developments within the Islamic community are no less significant, since stability in Russia and certain adjacent countries will to a great extent depend on whether Russia's Muslim clergy develops a model of moderate Islam that fellow believers both within Russia and beyond find attractive.
In conclusion, it should be noted that Russia's new challenges in the 21st century require qualitatively new approaches from its political class, economic circles and civil society. It is high time to launch an economic development model that would engender a modern economy. Russia must finalize the assignment of property rights and ensure genuinely equal justice for all; ensure its government is accountable to the electorate and create real political competition; and unite its political and economic forces on the basis of national interests and shared values. In this regard, the 2010s should become a period that defines Russia's destiny for decades to come, as well as its status in the world and in the FSU." 

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“Русский марш” в ландшафтной дыре