Raids on Gay Clubs and Bars by Russian Security Forces


Russian security forces conducted raids on gay clubs and bars throughout Moscow shortly after the country’s highest court labeled the LGBTQ movement as “extremist”. Police searched various venues in the Russian capital, including a nightclub, a male sauna, and a bar known for hosting LGBTQ events.

Raids on Gay Clubs and Bars

The raids were carried out under the guise of a drug inspection, during which attendees’ documents were checked and photographed by security services. According to the news outlet, witnesses reported that club managers had managed to alert patrons before the police arrived.

This crackdown occurred within 48 hours of the Supreme Court’s decision to categorize “The international LGBT public movement and its divisions” as extremist, potentially enabling authorities to target any individuals or groups associated with the movement.

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This ruling effectively threatened to prohibit organized activities advocating LGBTQ rights.

Under President Vladimir Putin’s tenure, Russia has witnessed a prolonged crackdown on LGBTQ rights, with an emphasis on “traditional family values.”


The recent court ruling marked a significant escalation in this trend, with broader and unforeseen consequences. This move aligns with a series of measures that have intensified since Russia invaded Ukraine, indicating the trajectory of the country’s policies.

Last November, lawmakers approved a bill banning LGBTQ “propaganda,” impacting various aspects such as book publishing and film distribution.

Before the recent ruling, Russian rights groups challenged a Justice Ministry lawsuit leading to the decision, labeling it discriminatory and unconstitutional.

However, several LGBTQ activists were denied formal involvement in the case. The Supreme Court hearing was held privately, without any defense representation, with reporters only allowed to witness the verdict.

Russian authorities have consistently denied allegations of discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.

Deputy Justice Minister Andrei Loginov claimed that “the rights of the LGBT people in Russia are protected” under the law.

While presenting a report on human rights to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Loginov stated that limiting public displays of nontraditional sexual relationships is not a form of censorship.

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