Russian president Vladimir Putin may have sent president Obama a telegram earlier this week voicing his support and sympathy for the vicitims of the massacre in Orlando — calling the shooting “barbaric” — but it appears Russian citizens require to be far more cautious with their own efforts to honor these identical victims.
On Monday, a gay couple was detained for hours by Russian police for “unauthorized action” soon after attempting to leave flowers and a sign reading “Love Wins” outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow.
“We only wanted to express our condolences for the murder of these folks and we had not at all planned any kind of political act,” Islam Abdullabeckov, who was arrested along with his boyfriend Felix Glyukman, told France 24.
Video of the couple’s arrest was posted on the web earlier this week, and SBS News posted a video of Glyukman telling his story.
As New York Magazine’s Beta Male weblog notes, the distinction among displaying help for the Orlando victims and a “political act” is crucial in Moskow. Distribution of “propaganda” promoting “non-standard sexual relationships” to minors has been illegal in Russia given that 2013, properly banning any sort of demonstration advocating for LGBT rights in the country.