Although homosexuality is legal in Russia, this is a socially conservative country where open displays of affection may attract unwanted attention. Watchdog groups have reported an increase in violence since legislation banning 'gay propaganda' was enacted in 2011. There have also been reports of police harassment around gay clubs and cruising areas in Moscow. Exercise extra caution around LGBT-specific venues (or avoid them) and you are unlikely to experience any problems.

More Information

  • Russia is a conservative country and being gay is generally frowned upon. LGBT people face stigma, harassment and violence in their everyday lives.
  • Homosexuality isn't illegal, but promoting it (and other LGBT lifestyles) is. What constitutes promotion is at the discretion of the authorities.
  • Moscow Pride has not taken place since it was banned by city courts (despite fines from the European Court of Human Rights in 2010). Activists were violently attacked by extremists at the event in 2011.
  • That said, Moscow is the most cosmopolitan of Russian cities, and the active gay and lesbian scene reflects this attitude. Newspapers such as the Moscow Times feature articles about gay and lesbian issues, as well as listings of gay and lesbian clubs.
  • Gay.ru (http://english.gay.ru) is rather out of date but still has good links and resources for getting in touch with personal guides.