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An important day for Russia

Russian skinhead
Moscow’s true face? (via oceanhug, Flickr)

It is not yet the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sotchi, but still, today is an important day for Russia: With hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, the country can present itself as a gentle cosmopolitan host for international events and guests.

How much of this is true may show earlier today, as Russian gay activists hold the “Slavic Gay Parade” in Moscow. Homosexuality was legalized only in 1993 in Russia, and recent parades have been overshadowed by violent attacks on the gay community as homophobia is still common. For today’s parade, attacks by right-wing nationalists are expected. Will the police forces show cowardice and let skinheads beat up homosexuals like it has happened so many times before? Right now, it looks like they will not allow the parade to happen anyway. Moscow’s mayor Yuri Luzhkov has already branded the parade as satanic; his police forces may show that Russia is far from defeating the demons of intolerance and hatred towards minorities.

Update: Russian police has broken up the parade. Nothing new under the Moscowian sun.

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