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Информационный портал семейной политики Иван-Чай

Gay man says he’s hiding from Russian police after YouTube video

Authorities say the video violates LGTBQ propaganda laws.

 

Libby Cohen

IRL

Published Nov 25, 2019   Updated May 19, 2021, 10:07 pm CDT

In Russia, it’s illegal to discuss homosexuality in the presence of children, and one gay man is facing the consequences after a YouTube interview.

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Creators of the Russian YouTube channel Real Talk are facing criminal charges for a video where kids asked the host about being gay. Maxim Pankratov, 22, says he’s gone into hiding after authorities launched an investigation this month, according to CNN.

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“There was no discussion of sex,” Pankratov told CNN. “It was about what it’s like to be a gay man in Russia and how I live. We wanted to show society that you can be tolerant.”

On Nov. 2, the Investigative Committee of Russia released a statement saying it was proceeding with criminal investigations against Pankratov. Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported the investigation is based on “violent acts of a sexual nature.”

According to Svoboda, a Russian news publication, the 12-minute video involved Pankratov speaking to four children aged 6 to 13 years old. The kids asked questions like, “When and how did you understand that you are gay? Did you like girls? Did you quickly get used to the idea that you are gay?” Pankratov responded with answers about his personal experiences.

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“It was a normal conversation about my life and they want to put me in jail,” Pankratov told CNN.

On Real Talk, kid stars interview figures and ask them to reflect on the social climate of Russia, according to Radio Free Europe. Real Talk was created in 2018 based on the U.S. channel HiHo Kids.

In Russia, laws against LGBTQ propaganda merit police force when advocates march or protest publicly. A discriminatory 2013 LGBTQ law prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors.”

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*First Published: Nov 25, 2019, 12:12 pm CST