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Russian President Vladimir PutinShutterstock

Editor’s note: This article was updated on April 2, 2024.

MOSCOW (LifeSiteNews) — The Russian government is taking steps to crack down on LGBT propaganda, which the country banned in 2013. 

On Friday, March 22, government agency Rosfinmonitoring added what it called the “LGBT social movement and its structural units” to its list of extremist and terrorist organizations.   

The Rosfinmonitoring has the ability to freeze bank accounts and censor the spread of information it deems to be a threat to national security. Al Qaeda, Jehovah’s Witnesses, U.S. journalists, and Meta, which owns Facebook, are among those on the agency’s list, which includes more than 14,000 persons and entities.  

Last November, Russia’s Supreme Court designated the “international LGBT movement” an “extremist organization.” The decision was handed down following a lawsuit filed by the country’s Ministry of Justice.  

Unlike most Western nations, Russia has steadfastly resisted pressure to succumb to woke ideology. In 2013, a bill banning homosexual propaganda directed at minors was signed into law. In 2022, that measure was strengthened and expanded upon to prohibit LGBT messaging to Russians of all ages. Voters similarly supported a referendum in 2020 that recognized marriage as between one man and one woman.   

Pro-LGBT activist group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reported that in January and February of this year there have already been several cases involving the violation of the Court’s ruling. The persons who have been charged in those cases displayed the rainbow “pride” flag, which is now a forbidden symbol.  

HRW states that “under Russian criminal law, a person found guilty of displaying extremist group symbols faces up to 15 days in detention for the first offense and up to four years in prison for a repeat offense. Participating in or financing an extremist organization is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.”  

Russian president Vladimir Putin has repeatedly chastised Western countries for adopting pro-homosexual policies. In a speech last September in Moscow, he said the West is promoting “sheer Satanism” for, among other things, allowing homosexuals to adopt children and for permitting “sex-change” operations, which are illegal in Russia. At the World Youth Festival in Russia this month, he remarked that everyone is equal because they are born to a “mother and father… it is always a male and a female parent.”  

Putin, 71, made international headlines when he sat down with former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson in February. The two discussed the Ukraine conflict as well as Putin’s religious beliefs. He won reelection as president two weeks ago after securing 88 percent of the vote. He will remain in office another six years until 2030. He has alternated between the role of prime minister and president of Russia since 1999.