« Reveal

Russia’s new scapegoats

2017-04-22 | 🔗

In light of recent reports about Chechnya’s anti-gay kidnappings, torture and killings, Reveal revisits stories that expose what it’s like to be gay in Russia. Right now, hateful rhetoric against the LGBT community appears on a daily basis on Russian TV and in speeches by Russian politicians. Reveal traces the roots of the anti-gay movement and shows how President Vladimir Putin uses this agenda to quash political dissent, exert influence on neighboring nations and bash the West.

Head over to revealnews.org for more of our reporting.

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And to see some of what you’re hearing, we’re also on Instagram @revealnews.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey! It is your favorite host in all of pod custom. Now for the rest of the year, I'm gonna be asking you to join us by becoming a member of reveal reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads telling stories that matter for more than three years now reveal has been fighting a lawsuit. That's been jeopardizing our very existence of restore we about an organization called planet aid. Our story raises serious questions about whether international aid was actually reaching the people. It was intended to help and what's more, our story was truthful and we stand by it. We believe it is our duty to fight attacks like this, but fighting a lawsuit comes at a huge costs, are legal fees alone totalled more than seven million dollars? Luckily we have pro bono legal support to help our in house counsel, but it still takes significant resources, resources that should be used to do more public service journalists. This kind of investigative,
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she's beautiful investigative aborting in p r ex this is reveal analogy LEO should go. Scoff knows what it's like to be gay and Russia had. Because otherwise there will be beaten up and killed, because I already had before some each physical abuse and violence. He fled Russia in two thousand fifteen. He was twenty nine years old, I packed my suitcase and left country for the United, but even he was shocked when he heard reports of police in the Russian Republic of Chechnya, rounding up gay men and torturing them. The head of Chechnya opened up some sort of concentration camps where they do a lot of weird stuff like bidding them.
By electro shock tryin to actually rape them, trying to give them up until they found him. The independent newspaper, Novia Gazeta, broke the story. A few weeks ago, it reported the Chechen police, have detained and tortured more than a hundred gay men in their three people have been killed. We spoke to spread launches a harbor of the Energy Bt Network in Saint Petersburg firms with the paper found we were appointed about, like hundreds people detained and tortured, and in the end of March we created a hotline, especially for people in Chechnya who afraid for their life and by
now oranges. Sixty people contacted us and also people attending horrible stores thread. Lana says Chechnya is an ultra traditional society with strong Islam values. Rush itself is a very comfortable place. Butter, Chechnya is probably fail to be. The first is a worse place, because it's absolutely impossible not only to be altered its activists, but it's impossible to be publicly open, gave their. She says in Chechnya. Haven't gay relative, Venus, a stain on the entire family or clear it as such, Think honour killing in Chechnya and it means that family members are considered to kill homosexual person because this person put too much shame on the Wall family. But now it's like a campaign against homosexual people, their local authorities. Say the whole story is made up and claim homosexuals don't even exist in the region. Svetlana group is helping people flee Chechnya and Russia, which is
You just work so basically we're gonna save equation process to be of a great people from Chechnya, first of all from the region, and then we provide accommodation. Medical support of course play a logical support because people are scared to death, and we also tried to and there's immigration outside of Russia, but she won't tell us exactly how they do it. We keep this information, Topsecret for security reasons, because immigration process is still going and we don't want to put additional risk those people who are still in Chechnya and who want to get out of there that's where he or she can help he works for the group called Russa algae BT in New York City. They are people who have fled Russia and neighbouring countries, including some people from Chechnya. It seems like life for the Elk
Richie. Community in Russia is tough, but in Chechnya it its brutal its brutal you're right. When I got to know some people from their, they told me, Doris. You could not believe, because you have experienced violence and some you know governed, Watching you bought what is happening in Chechnya with gay people who are so afraid to hand out there so afraid they dont use any internet because it could be checked by the government. They are invisible totally before he fled Russia. Leadership was working as university. Professor any was openly gay. He says everything changed when Vladimir Putin push through a repressive.
And he gave propaganda law in two thousand. Fourteen, all of a sudden government body, like secret police, will turn to us and try to fret ass tried to suppress our activities, and when I got those problems at my anger city and some articles came out blaming myself and my colleagues for spreading sodomy and propaganda of the failure. I understood that it was the critical point and they had I had to leave LEO should thinks the prudence campaign against the algae BT community also, to the attacks on gay men in Chechnya. I believe so absolutely its number one reason, because otherwise, without green light from the federal government, they never will do it. They know it.
Avoided without any fear to be punished to be persecuted, is literally the impact and the cause We first reported last fall on how dangerous it is to be gay in Russia with Coda story, a new media venture that does in depth crisis boarding we're gonna revisit those stores. Today, starting with water in Mckinnon, who takes us to Saint Petersburg. My tickets were, and I was packing my bag. When I received a message from a friend and Saint Petersburg, a journalist Dmitri Silicon had been murdered
Russia, can be a dangerous place for journalists over many years of dozens have been killed for getting on the wrong side of corrupt politicians and gang bosses. But this explanation just didn't fit for me: trees. He was an art supporter. He reviewed the city's ballet in opera, between trees, friends and local media. Believe Dmitri was killed because he was gay. When I arrived, Saint Petersburg. I seek out Demetrius friends and colleagues to find out more about what happened. Touchdown a mosque Vienna was best friends with Dmitri since College and when they meet her at her home, she is visibly still in shock What do when I try and imagine that our need intelligent, Dimitri, was killed with a knife in the tide, the apart
When we have been very said he cleanly twice a week, everything has its place book. Cds, feeling, evasive flowers was carefully placed on the window, sill variable. I cannot imagine that the path and card in blood stance in this question is there any more please believe me tree met his killer on an online dating site and invite the man to his apartment. Homophobic vigilantes have been known to proud sites. Leering, gay men and women out on dates only to humiliate attack or even kill them. Please found to make sure he was lying in pool of blood with multiple stab wounds. His killer had taken his cell phone as laptop and house keys, leaving him traps to bleed to death in his own home,
by the time I meet Tatiana. The police have arrested a twenty one year old student, Sergei culture of on suspicion of murder. Local media reported that year increase questioning. He said that his life was quote a crusade against certain social groups and that he'd asked we refer to. As The cleaner casinos lawyer has dismissed statements as total nonsense, but TAT China believes the police have got their guy. The case is closed. To tells me with a heavy sigh in all his life, Dmitri wrote about art and culture Papa S and he ended up in the crime pages I go to. The offices Saint Petersburg dealer boy, where Dmitri worked for years, is the city's leading business newspaper and its well known for its independence stance.
When I meet with Demetrius editor. Another meeting Dmitri cross me Grozny. He blames politicians and state owned media for stirring up this hatred, jobs, tourists irrational. There is such a concentrated amount of hatred attending in time. You can just turn on the tv and watched in use. Women. Settle William five minute hate what they tell people to hide their neighbours and, unfortunately, its directed towards gay people. I had two thin ice square. A busy plaza in the center of the city is emblematic of Saint Petersburg Imperial style and is dominated by Marinsky Palace built bizarre network is a gift to his daughter,
it's now home to Saint Petersburg City Legislature, I'm here to meet a member of the assembly, Vitelli Milano in twenty twelve. He became the face of homophobia here when he masterminded the city's infamous gay propaganda law law is so vaguely worded and bizarre that it can be difficult to explain its based on the assumption that algae bt people propagandizing children by supposedly spreading their ideas to them so law prohibits any the proceedings of eligibility issues in a positive or even neutral way. So that means no articles in magazines, no gay characters on tv, no support for energy kids in school, nothing. The same Petersburg law paved the way for a nation wide ban. One year later, MILAN
is also the guy who said that gay athletes could be arrested at the twenty fourteen winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, he's busy man, but he readily agreed to meet me in his office. While I wait, I chant with some of his staff members to ITALY in turns and his assistant area. I ask them what they think of their bosses. Sponsorship of the gay public, the longer lagged it springs like the sunshine, before these a beautiful, just in case you didn't catch. That area is comparing homophobia to Springs first day. He says it is a beautiful thing like rainbow. I get the signal that we learn of is ready and am showed his office now before I continue. I just want to give a quick heads up
me loan of is known for making controversial statements, so I'm expecting to hear some of the slurs and hate speech that he is infamous for he shift uncomfortably in his chair and scarcely makes eye contact during Our interview why it was necessary to introduce such a girl We have to face a moral, dangerous world factors of present world like homosexual propaganda, which is disgusting, immoral disease of Morton, Anti Christian society Milano the devoutly religious man, of his room. I lined with religious icons and a black flag which reads: orthodoxy or death, hangs behind staff, there is no nation wide monitoring of hate crimes committed against algae BT people in Russia, local-
international rights groups pieced together what they can and both have reported. A sharp increase in homophobic and transfer of violence, as a gay propaganda law was passed. Human rights watch blames this violence on the anti gay rhetoric coming from politicians and state media. I ask me lawn of what he makes of its human rights watch is a cheap Peter. I'm sorry from my French and we have no serious figures of persons of violence against homosexuals. There is quite a big number of criminal cases that are connected with the human from a sexual, because many homosexuals at the same time they love little kids, can have any evidence airs for absolute. It's it's just a status
this anti gay myth is standard rhetoric not just in Russia but anywhere that people are attacking the algae, BT, community and in Saint Petersburg, these kind of statements have inspired violence against algae BT people, the kind of violence that We believe led to the murder of Dmitri Silicon, which I ask about next week. You are very recent example here in Saint Petersburg, I'm sure you heard about the murder of the journalist me silicon. He was stopped in his apartment believed that this was motivated by the fact that he was gay Anders a young man who killed him. I noticed, and local media have reported that he was admirer of yours, this guy. What happened with him? This all
this old faggots got acquainted with the internet with the young guy. He invited him to his house either to rape him. It's me of waste. The main reason for this invitation was sexual harassment, but that's not what the police believe at all. They think that this is backed it murder or set up to date with Dmitri, with the intention to kill him my interview with me long goes on for a while, and he continues to spout the hate filled. Propaganda just turned this cultured city into the apis enter of the Anti Gay movement in Russia. The next day I managed to set up an interview with one of the city's. Most infamous anti gay vigilant is t mood Latin, like Dmitri sister.
Could killer. He also calls himself a cleaner lots of. Has not been known to be violent, but he does seek to destroy the livelihoods of algae BT people by coming through the social media accounts of Saint Petersburg Teachers, singling out the ones he suspects of being gay and reporting them to their schools. We agree to meet at his face in the District Council building, but, as I mean the taxi on my way there, he messages me with a different meeting point. This last minute switch makes me nervous. We meet at his rented office a cramped and cost or phobic room The rest of the building seems to be empty. As a war. Can I notice a camera set up on a tripod suit? He can film whatever happens next. We lot of the assistant at all a man and a roll neck. Sweatshirt sits in the corner of the room and fixes a silent stare on us. Feeling that maybe I've been set up, doesnt seem so power,
not anymore, given how many journalists have been attacked for their reporting here in Russia. I asked a lot of to introduce himself and he jumps straight to the point was emotional, we fight for the unifying moral issues of traditional family values. A bureau for face was farther limit for the fight for statehood. Laterp is deeply proud of his work and boasts about how many teachers he claims to have gotten fired need what's geared towards. It was like twenty nine, but now it's more like feebly, he could see Sandler scandal Dunbar went through the courts beat them more. Prudent perverts will understand this perversion. Russians chose to equip themselves surest slavishly. No one
if not actually illegal in Russia to be teacher if you're gay, but if a teacher is publicly outed, the stigma is so strong that they won't last long in their position where a lot of speaks with such a single minded. Hatred of algae, wouldn t people that at one point he actually breaks out into a sweat. When I ask what he thinks of the attacks on eligibility people in the city, he says he doesn't condone violence against homosexuals, but he certainly doesnt condemn it either viaducts a welder society, Why are we always talking about gay people, as we too? Can you knew? Why are we talking about the actions of these? Are my sexual, this lesbians and faggots? What they do to broker action reacts halfway,
interview. I noticed a handgun sitting at the table next him, I'm too afraid to ask words for by the time I leave. I am so on edge that I had straight to die far across the street and settle my nerves with a shot of thought I am glad the interviews over, but it's not long. Before I bumped into the latter again I'm here is had Petersburg on the fifteenth of April. It's actually day of silence is an international day. Use my elders here today in many countries as a day of remembrance for people who ve been killed or harass or believe for being gay look activists
Organised a meeting here in the Centre of Saint Petersburg and train station events like this point, also broke my skin. We see how this is going to go. There's already very heavy police presence trot russian special forces to relaunch, of whom we met yesterday has shown up to disrupt the event. He's got a broom with toy rat tying often short rise, holding rainbow flags walking round telling people watching that these are perverts. There's a group of two you're, so young activists, I watched them, put duct tape over their mounts. It's a symbolic gesture of silence and they walk down the city's main street
you have skipped respect along the way I get chatting to mark an activist for local out. You b T group called coming out marks job today's document, any acts of hate speech or homophobic violence. The demonstration as a transgender person himself Mark, is at an even greater risk of being harassed or attacked on the street He tells me that today's protest, someone has already verbal attacks, one of their activists just guide he was wearing on. He was begin just some government propaganda like where was it excludes tree have traditions you have no place here. Does it frightens me? Now I was not afraid and before Then my friends, committed suicide because of homophobia.
Then the so that silence will not help anyone, and I must speak for myself and for those who cannot speak himself just moments after we speak. The please show up with loud speaker of telling everyone at the protest is illegal in Russia to hold any kind of protest or demonstration, which involves more than just one person. You have to go to the city to get a special permanent. I don't know where the police just rush at the protesters and line them up against the wall. Some of them stand with their mouth still taped up and silent, but others trying to reason with the police. And then seemingly random, seven of activists are just picked out of the line up and taken away to police bounds, parked around the corner. The next day I had down to one of the city's small algae BT. Community centres is in the heart of the city, but tucked away
basement unmarked, you'd, never guess it was here and greeted by a veteran of the city's attributes. Activism movement Alex, say, he's asked that we dont use his last name. Out of fear. He could be targeted, is a humble space, three rooms and hardly any furniture. Fight, their tiny budget. They ve done what they can to make a cosy. A number of young activists from the centre were arrested at yesterday's demonstration. There were charged two hundred dollars each for participating in it. Unsanctioned protest that the small, fortune in a country where the national minimum wage is just a hundred nine dollars per month. If gathered here tonight, to discuss what happened yesterday, they ask for privacy step into the next room, to have a chat with Alec, say it's very important, also to protect the right to be who we are ass for me,
I have got so much support. I'm ready to help to the people around in return, It's been a long, weak and Saint Petersburg and I am exhausted, while the hatred that I have seen when I ask Alec say if he has hope for the future. He says he does help. How do I, despite everything that's going on? He speaks with such determination, such optimism whose voice begins to crack at risk, but my optimism,
hopes me to believe that everything will be good sooner or later, not now not in a year, not in three years, but in twenty years have resumed. Their report was aiming Mckinnon of Quota story since the story first aired Sergei closer, if plead guilty to murdering journalists, Dimitri to weaken the murder investigation concluded that the killing wasn't a hate crime, just the result of a quarrel. And remember: Vitaly Milon of use a controversial local politician that Amy spoke with well he's gone to become a member of the Russian National Parliament. The past couple months he's made headlines for Anti Semitism wanting to investigate the Freemasons and suggesting the new power Rangers movie be banned.
The crackdown on the gay community, Saint Petersburg became a blueprint for Vladimir Putin's national policy, a policy that funding support from religious activists in our own backyard. That's net. On reveal from the centre for investigative reporting and p r eggs. And the centre for investigative reporting in key are ex. This is reveal a mallet. Gonna gay bashing we just heard about is not is happening, is in Petersburg over the past few years become common across Russia and even in some neighbouring countries huge sums day, help us understand why this is happening is that time and elaborate from quota story. A partner in this episode work Natalia thanks to begin
so the end game movement is, is this a product of zealous local politicians or is it something bigger than that? But I think you know this was one of the things that we were trying to understand when we started this tube dive into. What we call the algae BT crisis in Russia and in the neighbouring countries trying to understand what is it that is truly driving it and yes well. The violence is carry out by local vigilantes. You know people who have always hated gaze. The question we really wanted to us There is like why, now why went gaze being attacked this extend back in the ninth nineties when the crime was much higher in Russia than today? So what what? What is it that's making at such an issue now, and am I think, one of the things that we found out is that really this hatred against gay people goes all the way back up to the Kremlin
and to fly to my put him now. Does that have to do with? Let him your prudence image of being a very manly man? Is it something ages pushing against, because you know, algae BT doesn't really jive with peanuts him riding around with no shirt on and wrestling bears and of that type of thing. Why sure? That's part of it for You know you we, we know the public persona put in. That is projected a finger question is also like weather is put in homophobic himself and personal. I don't think that he has, because there are plenty of people in his government who our gay. So no, I don't think he's. I don't think he's personal necessarily homeward, So if it's not homophobia, then what is it? I think it's some pretty clever political thinking and strategizing, because I think what Vladimir Putin has meant
to do is turn homophobia into an instrument for strengthening his power to understand how he did it. I think one thing that we need to understand is what happened in Russia in twenty eleven here. Let me play you this bit of already so what's happened yourselves legal rights, it is a right. It's, the sound of the russian police clashing with protesters back in twenty eleven, basing them with patterns arresting them, pushing them into cars. This happened after tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow after lads Importance Party, one parliamentary elections in twenty eleven and opposition back then said that put in the election and stole the victory and the Russians who were already fed up with this deep seated, cronyism and corrupt,
should in the russian government, decided to come out into the streets, and these were in fact the biggest protests since the collapse of the Soviet Union. There was a massive Craig down on all sorts of descend. The western media was very much focused on they unto gale. Distillation on the unseen gay rhetoric and that diverted there and what the media attention away from they from their real crackdown. That was happening. So let me get this straight. Basically, what you say is that this is a debate in switch keys, focusing eyes on the eligibility issue, but is actually arresting democratic protestors, who are probably more with threat to his reign, then algae, BT, people, absolutely the anti gaily
just lace and was in a way a diversion tactic for ports in he calculated that the western media would become obsessed with antigay legislation, which they did. You know there were hundreds and hundreds of stories dedicated to the antigay legislation and only a handful dedicated to do that he'll crackdown on dissent. That happens so on one hand the unto gay rhetoric coming from the Kremlin certain least very frightening violence against gay people in Russia, but at the same time, was a little bit of a diversion tactic in order to really clamp down on political dissent that was threatening put in school. So this strategy, the burdens put together, seems like it's really working Alfred It looks like it really is, and it is incredible that homophobia can be a political strategy about Vladimir Putin seems to prove that it works. It worked
for him at home. He has crashed the political dissent. He has created an enemy at home. That gaze our Dean as an enemy at home and am, after since Crimea and his intervention in Syria. His popularity has soared to the unprecedented eighty. Nine percent, and, what's really interesting in my opinion, is that he has also managed to use this onto gay rhetoric. This homophobia to spread Russia's influence. Side of its borders and its happening everywhere in the former Soviet Union, including the country where I am based Georgia, where I recently and the very curious international event. It's very windy day, I'm an a taxi having entered Tbilisi, they capital of Georgia. This is the main highway that leads from the airport it through the city and from the first glance, it's pretty you
regular for laid road, slightly dilapidated buildings and both sides. Some of them have been spared, stop, there's an apartment, complex! That's been painted, bright, pink, the right me, but the rest of it is really the landscape that you pretty much get any post soviet countries. What is unusual about this road, though, is its name. This is George W Bush highway. That's right and there he is the man himself waving and smiling from a giant poster, just as we turned into the city my American France find it totally bizarre that there is a major road here named after their controversial and not exactly into nationally loved president, but Georgians at least at the time. I thought it was. A great idea
in two thousand and five Bush became the first you as president ever to visit this tiny country, hundreds of thousands of came out to greet him, learn where the neighbourhood we thought whistling mine, say Gama job. I the visit was meant, above all else, to send a signal to the Kremlin. This was once superpower, the. U S telling of former superpower. The Georgia was now part of the western world. You claimed your liberty and because you acted, Georgia is today both sovereign and free and a beacon of liberty. For this region, and the world in Israel Moscow was annoyed. Policing was extradited,
but today the dynamic here is shifting. Georgia is still very pro american but the anti russian sentiment has softened because many Georgians like what Putin has to say about traditional values, he's anti algae BT rhetoric is spreading to Georgia in a big way and with it. Russia's influence here is enjoying a comeback. In may I went to this conference in Tbilisi. It was organised by the World Congress of families, which is an internal organization that considers itself pro family, its anti gay agenda sounds like something dreamt up by the Kremlin, but the group is based in Illinois hundreds of guest from all over the world filled the main concert hall in the city
most of them were Americans. They came together, to talk about ways to save the world from what they call the threat of homosexuality throughout the four days, there was a lot of praise for Moscow and for President Putin, here's Alan Karlsson, the founder and president of the organization. I wish of my country was as forceful is in promoting and really saying the right thing regarding family values and also for protecting his country's interests is it has put just for Russia. He says Russia now plays a key role in pushing their values globally and what our now some of pollutants closest allies were at. The meeting like Alex, say, come off he's develop
Moscow's growing connections with far right groups in Europe and more and more with anti abortion anti gay activists in the union, states here big, several languages, charms the crowd. With his wide smile and boyish good looks like he's giving a powerpoint presentation. And this is not a joke about what he calls satanic messages spread by dismal and Hollywood boy, like almost half or over the toys that are being offered in modern shops for our children are you know, and then said coma. Does Russia, on the other hand, is a pioneer in adopting what he calls pro family loss leg banning any positive depiction of homosexuality and russian TV afterwards. I try several times. Get common to tell me more about he's government's policies
me why you don't want me to tell you I want to make a propaganda out of this peaceful. I don't want to participate in your efforts. Why should I am afraid person I can refuse reign of toys is somewhat so please don't bug me. I go back to Alan calls to ask him whether the fact that pollutants allies are so prominent event undermine still organizations supposedly a political nature. I understand that the Congress ones to distance itself from President Putin and his policies of and get some of, his strongest proponents strongest supporters are present here. How do work that fine line, how to embrace them without being seen as a tool for Moscow. Well, you're right. It is a fine line.
Congress. Families does not endorse a political actions, let's say like the annexation of the Crimea. That's we also don't condemn. It were true to avoid being sucked into those kinds of political questions. He thinks I was hearing at the conference mayor. What you hear on Russia's state control television, this, for example, live on both he's considered the most famous homophobic Georgia, it has a lot of business and Russia and is the one who brought this event to Tbilisi here are three may Points he made during his speech. West Liberalism is destroying the world promised section Honesty is part of the american agenda and the West Has-
Georgia and must back speaker after speaker, takes the stage and of them say the same basic things. A german delegates says homosexuality has to be eradicated. Russian Representative course there Bt Movement, a new form of dictatorship, and this is just Trentham, an eastern orthodox priest from California, and I my nation disgraced itself before God. My answer to the georgian State- in your face against the elderly. Do not worry or cities will be calm. San Francisco without a thousand Dogs in the city limits that aren't you.
Charlie tolerance, tyrant this these bastard. Rainbow They promote their anti religious, anti civilization of propaganda in your nations and then He stands on stage in this pact concert Hall, Father trend, gives his interpretation of a passage from the Koran which he says, calls for killing gay people. Even more shocking to me than what he's saying is the fact that people next to me start com Mohammed recorded for the execution of anyone practice inside. If you find anyone doing as lots, people you're, the one who does what its report as I do since this, I wonder if he would dare to make
speech in the. U S so after he's done talking, I put him aside and ask him absolutely I'm bewildered a bit by your question, Would you ask me a question the reason I ask you, this question is because personally I thought your speech was very controversial. What was controversial about my speech? Well, quite a few statements In particular, there was a moment when you read from one of the scriptures. I think it was a had these about gas being killed. Yours and people applauded the particular Prince you make is when I referred to the seventh Sceura in the Koran in which Islam presents homosexuality, not just as a sin, but as a crime and as a capital. Crime and there were some people who clapped- and I was not happy with
and if you noticed, I immediately continued my talk. I allowed no time for the clapping So when he had, you didn't stop and say I don't want you to be clapping, you didn't emphasise, and a lot of people took that as an incitement to violence in a country which is known for really about violence against the attribute taken Pity you're suggesting things to me about Georgia that I do not agree with and do not accept its been my experience that those who are for provocation and violence are the algae, be tease themselves who are very aggressive and very openly MA. King people of traditional faith, so the idea that somehow they are threatened minority, I think that they are doing the threatening.
Father Trentham doesn't have much time to talk the conference's wrapping up and everyone starts. Poor, out into the main street, the delegates are greeted by hundreds of local orthodox activists as they all get ready to set off on the March cross, the city carrying religious icons and signs quoting the Bible. Just then my phone rings its analogy BT TAT S tomb of interviewed before he's panicking because he says ten of his friends have just been arrested for writing law. Is equal on a sidewalk. Only a few blocks away, but here at the march there is a sense of celebration
I can see a war. From Germany. Why talk to earlier- and she told me that homosexuality was a dangerous infectious disease now she's chatting to georgian man who holding an orthodox icon in a golden frame- and I start chatting with tool round faced man who turns out to represent an anti abortion organization from Poland. He tells me why she think the russian narrative is winning with a western one, the West, no idea how there Should the clicks, while the Russians
you're, doubt Americans, one hundred percent. They know how to manipulate you there much much better than that. You were that's one thing and you have to understand that in India with politicians are thinking and for your term. As you know, we re election and things like that, but in Russia they think more like emperors the procession swells, as hundreds of people make their way down towards the very same square where George W Bush spoke to crowds just over a decade ago and just like, then their Americans and american flags in the crowd except now, they're waving in support of the ideas that Russia is promoting,
That story from Natalia unto, love of quota story has been looking at how Putin and his government have been selling their message to the russian people. When we come back will look at prudence, propaganda machine. This is reveal from the centre for investigative reporting and p r exe. when the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex this is reveal. I'm outlets in all our we ve been revisiting stories about the energy Bt Community in Russia and how they become a target of politicians and vigilant. It's these days is doing. Just to be gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual and Russia. People have lost jobs, they ve been harassed, physically attacked in some cases even killed because of who they are. This month we learned about it
targeted campaign against the algae BT community in the Russian Republic of Chechnya and independent newspaper reported. Gay men there are being rounded up taken to detention centres and tortured? Natalia onto lover of quota story has been covering the anti Gay movement in Russia. Last far, when we first air this story, I asked her have led Sweden is spreading homophobic rhetoric throughout the country on a very simple answer to that is russian television is asked to do if you re, Mr Dickson Railways, he wouldn't programme amounts. I have watched a lot of russian tv in the past few months and I have come to the conclusion that is completely impossible to understand what is happening in Russia today without actually watching russian CV. What happens when you do watch it is that you are transported into a parallel reality. All of the main channels are controlled
the Kremlin, and a lot of what happens on russian television in that parallel reality is a very extreme homophobic rhetoric. There are dozens and dozens of examples that I could play you, but is one example and I'll translate what they say. I wouldn't worry. Khartoum, german pass for rapid, merge, sponsored recur or see. Today we will discuss how the western expansion of sin into Russia is dangerous. How this problem stopped being about gender and became political north western european sodomize, and this is how the Russians refer to homosexuals on television, are attempting to penetrate Russia and create
protest movement here among our russian perverts, burn you, but this is not some marginal channel. This is prime time programme on one of the main, most popular channels and Russia. Millions of people watch it and all of the television is state controlled, and there is a very strong sense that is created by russian TV that Russia is under attack that its under siege and that the West is waging a war and the at a bizarre as it sounds that homosexuality is one of the main instruments for the west in this attack against Russia. So what is the state funded media used to prove that the west is
tacking Russia, a you know. They all Levin s slightly post factual world where facts don't matter as much as the narratives and all these narratives are based on Miss ended a few dig deeper into the mysterious kind of some a little bit of like factual information. That is, is that kind of balloons and packaged into lies. We tried a quota story. We try to dig in into few of they very german and miss because there's some, instead have really become part of the public discourse. Recently I was speaking to a georgian orthodox priest who said to me: do you know that in in Europe. Children are forced to masturbate from age for- and this are things that are you know, broadcast on state tv and then are repeated by thousands of people across the region and they kind of become accepted. Narratives there there miss that place facts, but all of them have a little bit like a little grain of truth, somewhere
in them- is like a little seed of kind of a fact that then grows out into this myth and, for example, the story story about about the masturbation. Is that apparently there is their World Health Organization document that says that children from about aged three or age four can be seen as some touching their genteely, and it's completely normal, and this in Russia, somehow has turned into children, are being forced to masturbate from age for, and this happens again and again with all sorts of stories, with all sorts of myths that are presented as facts and are are used in this narrative that Russia is under attack from the west. So it's clear that Vladimir Putin is using his anti algae BT agenda to basically solidify his rule in Russia and also to make the western world the bogeyman that he can fight up against
so when we don't have its plain on Russia. But what does that mean in a larger context, for the world Really really important thing to understand is that all of this stuff that is being sat on Russian TV, all of them, very, very real impact on the world that we live in. One of the big conflict today in the world is the conflict over Ukraine. It has changed the balance of power. It has changed Russia's relationship with Europe of Russia's relations with the United States. It has had huge consequences. It has really affected the Warren SIRI, it's all interconnected, and yet how can begin to tell you how much that, until gay rhetoric, what role it played in the Ukraine conflict in the beginning of May I covered the Ukraine WAR for throw out, and I was always amazed that every time people who wanted to break away from Ukraine, who would say to me- and I quote- we need to fight
because if we don't, this homer Fascists from Europe will come and force us into homosexual marriages. While- and this has been said to me in the middle of a real war when real people are dying. Natalia one final question before we go here in the United States you're. Obviously there are issues with Elsie between rights and obviously there vigilantes, who do crazy, ridiculous things here, but nothing on the scale of what feels like state sponsored terrorism against the community and I'm just curious like for you as a reporter and editor working on these I passed or is like, what's that like? What's it like two to hear these stories day in day out to go to a war torn area and understand that you know the media is fuelling this anti algae BT agenda there?
he has very little to do with energy, be people mostly its hugely frustrating, because some are you feel like their two parallel. The realities in there to bubbles and people are very much choosing size and not not speaking to each other and it's very hard to kind of imagine a way out of it and, I think, is very frustrating to see the western media really struggle with covering a bit it because I think them. The western media has has fully realised what their dealing with the tyre on of code a story. Thank you so much for bringing us espies my pleasure thanks a lot. I show today was reported by our partners a coat, a story. A new media ventured the does in depth crisis reporting, You can learn more about their coverage of the anti game. Movement in Russia by visiting reveal news, dot, Org.
Update this episode were produced by Julia, be Jan and edited by David. Richer talk. You tell him This was a senior editor in Kathmandu. Scowl ski was Lee producer are sound design team is the one twins. My J brief, Mr Jim Briggs and clear, see no Molly I had studios studio from birth. Amy paths are during chief Susan, He was our executive editor and our executive producer is Kevin, solve our theme music, by camaraderie, like support for reveals, provide by the river in David Logan Foundation before Foundation, the John D Catherine T Macarthur our the genus and James I might foundation, and the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation reveals a co productions. Centre for investigate, reporting and p r eggs. I'm Alison and remember. There is always more to the store
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-21.