A report by a Russian and Ukrainian human rights organizations reveals that since the beginning of the Crimean Crisis in 2014, the situation for LGBTs in the Crimean and Eastern Ukraine has deteriorated.
The report ‘Violation of LGBT Rights in the Crimea and Donbass: The Problem of Homophobia in Territories Beyond Ukraine’s Control’ is a publication by Memorial and the Center for Civil Liberties.
This report is about the human rights situation in the Crimean, the peninsula that was annexed by the Russian Federation in 2014, and the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine, where the People's Republics Donetsk and Lugansk were proclaimed by insurgents.
Worse than in the Russian Federation
Testimonies of people living in these regions are an important source for the report. The report states that the human rights situation of LGBTs is deteriorating in these regions. The LGBT hostile laws of the Russia Federation were also implemented in the Crimean and Eastern Ukraine. In Eastern Ukraine, people who are together with someone of the same sex are being persecuted. The People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk take this even a step further than the Russian Federation, where relationships of same-sex couples are not in themselves illegal, but the "propagation" of "non-traditional relationships' (= same-sex couples) in the presence of minors.
In the report, LGBTs bear witnesses to increased homophobic aggression in the Crimean under the influence of LGBT hostile propaganda from the Russian Federation. This aggression is against all people who look 'unusual' and perhaps are LGBT. Even heterosexuals with an extravagant hairstyle, for instance, run the risk of becoming a target.
The report mentions that the armed forces of the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk are aggressive towards LGBTs.
Makers of the Report
Memorial is a Russian human rights organization that was required to register with the court in St. Petersburg in December 2013 as a ‘foreign agent’. This term has a very negative connotation in the Russia Federation, where a 'foreign agent' is considered a 'spy'. By requiring organizations to register as 'foreign agents,' the Russian authorities are trying to get organizations to discontinue their activities. Memorial has now moved to Brussels.
The Center for Civil Liberties is a non-governmental organization in Kiev that wants to strengthen democracy and human rights in the Ukraine and Eurasia.