Advice for minorities going to Russia
Advice for LGBT+ visitors
We say be yourself, you have fought too hard not to, but things to be aware of:
- According to the 2013 ‘gay propaganda’ law, spreading any information about LGBT+ that could potentially be seen by minors may result in 5 000 RUB fine (100 000 RUB if you also distribute information in the media or on the web). You can also be arrested for 15 days and expelled from the country.
- Wearing a rainbow pin, rainbow flag or holding hands is not an offence unless police treat it as a demonstration. According to assurances from the local organisers and FIFA, you can wear rainbow symbols in the stadiums and official FIFA Fan Fests. Nevertheless, be aware of the possibility of negative reaction from people nearby.
- You CAN: Wear rainbow symbols on clothes or as accessories, hold hands, discuss the topic of protecting the rights of LGBT people.
- You CANNOT: Participate in protest action in defence of LGBT rights, even if you are just standing alone with a rainbow flag in the middle of a square.
- Activists in Russia were previously charged for a single picket with a placard ‘Being gay and loving gays is normal. Beating gays up and killing gays is a crime’ and even for sharing information on LGBT rights on Facebook. They were fined 4,000 and 50,000 RUB, respectively. Activists have also been detained for displaying rainbow flags at general political demonstrations.
- In hotels, booking a room for two men or women with a double bed should be no problem but it is better to be discreet when booking private accommodation, i.e. book two rooms.
- Be very careful with any dating apps in Russia. There are cases being registered of homophobic groups posing as users to lure LGBT+ people into meetings only to humiliate and/ or blackmail them.
- If you want to bring a rainbow flag into a stadium, make sure it conforms to FIFA regulations – the size should not be more than 2m x 1.5m and it should be manufactured from a fire-retardant material.
- Be careful with any LGBT+ symbolism or expressions away from city centres or when the environment seems less welcoming.
- If you are going to meet someone on a date, always inform your friends where you are going, with whom are you meeting and where to call in case of emergency.
- If you are subject to a homophobic attack report it to the police. Do not ignore it. Please keep Fare informed through our Whatsapp line or email.