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7 Things You Need to Know About Russia and the 2014 Olympics

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5. Hate Attacks are on the Increase in Russia

Commentators have strenuously argued that the federal propaganda law should not be the sole focus of the Sochi 2014 narrative as Russia’s backward slide toward persecuting its LGBT community started long before it was signed into law. What has been clear, though, is that the ban has acted as a green flag for anti-gay forces in Russia to step up their violence.

Indeed, a spokesperson for the international LGBT group the Kaleidoscope Trust told Pink News at Saturday’s London demonstration that: “Certainly our feeling and the feeling of our [Russian] partners seems to be that it’s getting worse in the sense these laws add to a climate of fear and also work to justify a range of abuses against LGBT people. Our partners in Russia are recording an increase level of violence: both spontaneous violence but also quite disturbingly premeditated and arranged violence.”

6. German Officials Condemn Russian Treatment of Gay People

While several leaders have called out Russia’s anti-gay persecution, including President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, Germany’s Development Minister Dirk Niebel has perhaps made the most forceful of comments when he told broadcaster N24 on Monday:

“We must make clear when in contact with Russian politicians that this collapse in fundamental democratic values is not acceptable, and that Russia is moving towards becoming a flawless dictatorship.”

7. NBC Issues Memo to LGBT Employees Traveling for Olympics

NBC, which will be broadcasting the Sochi 2014 Olympics, issued a memo to employees on Friday reassuring them that NBC will take steps to ensure their safety if they are attending the Winter Olympics.

NBC Universal’s Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Craig Robinson is quoted as saying that Russia’s propaganda law is “deeply troubling and diametrically opposed to everything that the Olympics symbolized.”

Exactly what these steps might entail remains to be seen.


So there you have it. The Russia Sochi 2014 controversy continues, as does the IOC’s virtual silence. You don’t need to wait for the IOC to take action, however.

Sochi 2014 sponsors have among them a number of companies that rely heavily on U.S. and European consumers. These sponsors include:

Coca-Cola, Atos, Dow, GEM, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung, and Visa.

These companies have power to affect change by standing up for Russia’s LGBT community. Urge them to do so: click here to sign the petition!

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Image credit: Valya V.

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7:20AM PDT on Aug 30, 2013

some of the comments here are disheartening. i hope thousands boycott watching/attending this time

10:37PM PDT on Aug 28, 2013

In Russia not only gay men do not like. In Russia and other nations do not like. All "other" do not like.

10:35PM PDT on Aug 28, 2013

Russia with the subject of gays in the whole world was dishonored.

12:03PM PDT on Aug 19, 2013

Further to my last: check out the LGBT's aggressive behaviour in the UK before condemning Russia, as bad as her human rights situation is. In case you're wondering I would NOT condone any violent action towards homosexuals.

11:57AM PDT on Aug 19, 2013

Respectfully: check the sometimes aggressive propaganda that the LGBT perpetuates in the UK,eg attacking a van that was used to promote traditional marriage and the rights of children to a mum & dad.

6:39AM PDT on Aug 19, 2013

The way I see it the Russians are saying to the LGBTs to stay in the closet when you go to Russia.. no need to tell everybody you are a gay; no need to propagandize your sexually confused gender orientation to anyone and most importantly to minors.. and stay contained in your closet..
that's what's the Russian law is about.. and it makes lots of sense: -"you can be gay but I don't want to know about it. so stay in your closet"- -that's what they say..

3:58PM PDT on Aug 18, 2013

Signed on August 9, 2013. Don't kid yourselves - the IOC is very aware of everything going on and all the possible consequences. They just don't think Putin will allow any Olympic athlete(s) to come to harm...Right. Olympic Figure Skater Johnny Weir says he's going and will not be in the closet...I've never seen him in the closet - well, maybe a room-sized closet.
I send prayers with him because this is going to get worse befoe it ever (?) gets better.

The IOC should make better ecurity arrangements because blood will spill.

9:55AM PDT on Aug 18, 2013

Thanks for sharing. the games should be relocated.

8:41AM PDT on Aug 17, 2013

Closed-Minded People, Need To Keep Their Mouths Closed!

10:49AM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

this is terrible thanks

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