On Saturday, Moscow police conducted simultaneous raids on several gay nightclubs and a men’s sauna, as reported by local media. These actions unfolded two days after Russia’s Supreme Court deemed the “international LGBTQ+ movement” extremist, paving the way for increased repression against the LGBTQ+ community and its advocates.
A video from Ostorozhno Novosti captures police entering a nightclub on Malaya Yakimanka Street during a lively party. “In the midst of the party, they stopped the music, and the police started entering the lounges,” recounted a witness, noting that officers were photographing attendees’ passports.
Law enforcement intervened in at least three bars throughout the night, according to SOTA. Ostorozhno Novosti also claimed a raid occurred at a men’s sauna in the city center.
The Supreme Court’s ban on activities related to the “international LGBTQ+ movement,” coupled with the 2022 prohibition of “LGBTQ+ propaganda” for all audiences, reflects escalating hostility towards the LGBTQ+ community in the country. These events raise concerns about human rights and freedom of expression in Russia. Verification of these reports by AFP is pending.