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One in five Russians are in favour of ‘liquidating’ and wiping out the LGBT+ community, terrifying study finds

Emma Powys Maurice April 20, 2020
Russia

Police detain an LGBT+ activist protesting against Russia's 'gay propaganda' law in Moscow in 2013. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty)

A shocking new survey has revealed that nearly one in five people in Russia are in favour of “liquidating” or “eliminating” the entire LGBT+ community.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Russia but discrimination and violence is widespread, and LGBT+ people are often equated with paedophilia and deviancy.

This intolerance was reflected in the results of a new study by Levada Centre NGO. Demonstrating views reminiscent of the Holocaust, 18 per cent of those polled stated that queer men and women should be “liquidated” or “eliminated”.

Another 32 per cent said that LGBT+ people should be isolated from society, with the same amount stating that they should be “left to deal with their own problems”.

Just 9 per cent of people polled thought that queer people should be helped, while a further 9 per cent found the question difficult to answer.

The only areas of society Russians seemed to hate more than LGBT+ people are extremists, terrorists, paedophiles and murderers.

Russian attitudes towards LGBT+ are, believe it or not, improving.

The study run by Levada Centre NGO surveyed a representative sample of urban and rural populations throughout the country, to uncover the nation’s attitudes toward people whose behaviour “deviates from socially accepted norms”.

The NGO has been running the survey since 1989, and as bad as the results might seem, they are actually slightly better than those of previous years.

In 1994, 22 per cent of Russians surveyed were in favour of LGBT+ elimination, while in 1989 it was as high as 35 per cent.

“The stigmatisation of socially vulnerable people has decreased over the past 30 years, and norms that require helping and not isolating from them have expanded,” Levada sociologist Karina Pipiya hopefully told the Kommersant newspaper.

Activist Peter Tatchell and actors Michael Cashman and Ian McKellen protesting Chechnya’s alleged ‘gay purge’ outside the Russian Embassy in 2017. (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty)

The results will give little hope to those in Russia’s persecuted LGBT+ community, who are fighting to exist in a country that has one of the worst LGBT+ rights records in the world.

Human rights groups have raised alarm over reports of a “gay purge” against the LGBT+ population in Chechnya, where queer refugees speak of violent abuse and torture in gay concentration camps.

Chechnya’s homophobic leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who refers to gay people as “devils”, has repeatedly denied the purges are taking place.

The insidious prejudice against LGBT+ people is constantly reinforced by Putin’s “gay propaganda” law, which prosecutes anyone who portrays LGBT+ people in a positive light.

More: Chechnya, Europe, gay propaganda law, putin, Russia

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