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Pussy Riot deck out Russian government buildings with LGBTQ flags for Vladimir Putin’s birthday

Russian protest group Pussy Riot commandeer Russian government building with LGBTQ flags as a ‘gift’ for Vladimir Putin’s birthday, calling for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

Provocative feminist protest group Pussy Riot has decorated Russian government buildings with LGBTQ flags as a ‘gift’ for Vladimir Putin’s birthday.

Russian officials were met with shock when they arrived for work, with the pride flags decked across the Russian security agency headquarters, Culture Ministry, central police stations, and the presidential administration.

pussy riot, vladimir putin, lgbtq, putin birthday
Photo: Morry Gash | AP

If they had by any chance thought their leader had turned over a new leaf on his 68th birthday, their concerns were quickly put to rest. Pussy Riot claimed responsibility on social media, stating: “We chose the rainbow flags as a gift for Putin as a symbol of missing love and freedom.”Β 

The post continued, “The state should not interfere in life of the LGBTQ community. But if it does, then the community can intervene in the life of the state. You yourself like to say ‘symmetrical response’ in such cases.”Β 

 

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Pussy Riot congratulates Putin with his 68th birthday and puts up rainbow flags on 5 of the most important government buildings in Russia – Federal Security Service on Lubyanka, Administration of the President of Russia, Russian Supreme Court, Ministry of Culture and the police station in Basmanny district. β€œThere will never be any restrictions on the basis of orientation in Russia,” promised Putin. At the same time, the government was killing gay people in Chechnya, passing transphobic laws (for “strengthening the institution of the family”), persecuting fathers of children born from surrogate mothers. To encourage people to vote for changes in the Constitution that allowed Putin to stay in power indefinitely, propaganda shared horrific homophobic videos aiming to convince our Russian citizens that staying in the same-sex family is worse than living in an orphanage for a kid. We chose rainbow flags as our gift to Putin as a symbol of missing love and freedom. The state should not interfere in life of the LGBTQ community. But if it does, then the community can intervene in the life of the state. You yourself like to say “symmetrical response” in such cases. Therefore, we require from the government of Russia and Vladimir Putin himself: 1. Investigate the killings and kidnappings of gay, lesbian, transgender and queer people in Chechnya 2. Stop harassment of activists and organizations who help the LGBTQ community 3. Pass a law that prevents discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation 4. Legalize same-sex partnerships 5. Stop harassment of same-sex families, stop taking away children from these families 6. Abolish “a propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” law as discriminatory and violating the right to freedom of expression 7. Make October 7 LGBTQ Visibility Day. Participants: Sasha Sofeev @sofeev Nika Nikulshina @protrezvey Renat Davletgildeev @renatmaratych Masha Alekhina @allmary Lucya Stein @lcshtn Tim Bestsvetniy @flutim Alan Leongard @lejonjakt Masha Timofeeva @mary_v_atmosphere Vasiliy Adrianov @krestpaysan Elizaveta Diderikh @lizadiederich21 Diana @rosemary_loves_a_blackberry

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The post also demanded Putin begin an investigation into the abduction and murder of gay people in Chechnya, while also calling for the legalisation of same-sex partnerships.

Ironically enough, the group also called for the 7th of October (Putin’s birthday) to be recognised as a celebration of LGBTQ Visibility each year.

Putin’s 20-year reign has coincided with growing homophobia and violence against LGBTQ people in Russia, with anti-gay bills – such as a rewrite of the constitution to ban same-sex marriage – being introduced this year.

Putin surprisingly didn’t quite enjoy his birthday present, however, with police ordered to remove the flags from government buildings. Talk about being ungrateful on your birthday.

Two members of Pussy Riot were also seemingly not invited to Putin’s party, with Vasily Andrianov and Elizaveta Diderikh later arrested and released on Wednesday for holding rallies in Moscow.