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The level of hate crimes against LGBTQ people is on the rise in Russia. This issue is closely connected with the introduction of the so-called “gay propaganda law” in 2013 – a censorship legislation banning LGBTQ-related content from circulation and LGBTQ activists from organising public events. This discriminatory legal norm increased levels of prejudice and deeply affected the LGBTQ community. The Russian authorities do not recognise homophobic hate crimes and do not monitor them. Moreover, some authorities make statements like “We don't have those kinds of people here. We don't have any gays. You cannot kill those who do not exist”. The purpose of this research project was to prove it wrong.

In order to do that, our research team used online public databases of court rulings to find cases of violence against LGBTQ people and generate statistics on them. Between 2010 and 2020 we managed to identify 1056 hate crimes committed against 853 individuals, with 365 fatalities. The number of crimes after the “gay propaganda” law was enacted is three times higher than before. The emergence of the “gay propaganda law” is closely related to the progression of the authoritarian regime in Russia and the deterioration of the rule of law. In that sense, the rise in violence against the LGBTQ community can be seen as a subproduct of autocratization.

The data that were generated by the project are the only reliable data on such violence, and the method is applied on a continuous basis. The findings of the research are being shared through academic articles, cooperation with international organisations, a designated website, as well as an art project.


Research project portfolio page on UCD website

Art project based on the research

Kondakov A. (2022) Violent Affections: Queer sexuality, techniques of power, and law in Russia. London: UCL Press.

Katsuba S. (2023) The Decade of Violence: A Comprehensive Analysis of Hate Crimes Against LGBTQ in Russia in the Era of the “Gay Propaganda Law” (2010–2020), Victims & Offenders.

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