LGBT+ group flees Russia amid anti-war police raids: ‘Staying would be the way to jail’

Between police raids and censorship, an LGBT+ group has fled Russia as they fear the “responsibility” for losing the Ukraine war “will be assigned” to the queer community.

Watching Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine, Aleksandr Voronov, the CEO of the St. Petersburg-based LGBT+ group Coming Out, told PinkNews he knew what was going to happen next.

His group, as well as human rights campaigners, political opponents and anti-war protesters, will all become public enemy number one – something that the Kremlin has sought to do for decades.

And it’s already started. Voronov said that the authorities within days of the conflict raided the homes and offices of  human rights activists. Some are being arrested for holding pieces of paper.

“The Russian State has already lost the war: all the world sees how the Russian army can’t do anything to the small country that Russian authorities told us was so weak,” Voronov said.

“The question is not about winning or losing. The question is where the authorities will find a reason for the loss: human rights defenders, ‘foreign agents’, traitors of ‘traditional values’ and everyone who was against the war.

“The responsibility for the loss will be assigned to us.”

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