Ukraine Hub

Pro-Gay Ukranian Synth Pop Group Kazaky Serves Up 'Magic Pie': VIDEO


Your favorite Ukrainian stilletoed synth pop group Kazaky has returned with some “Magic Pie,” but the ingredients for their usual music video have changed.

For one, there's no stilettos in this video nor are there the muscular torsos so liberally sprinkled into their other videos. Also gone are their gender-fucked leather gear and hypnotically synchronized group choreography.

But fear not, “Magic Pie” still has lots of fun and flavor, including a woman working it in a steaming hot pie hat — yum yum!

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP…


Continue reading "Pro-Gay Ukranian Synth Pop Group Kazaky Serves Up 'Magic Pie': VIDEO" »

Putin Says 'Gay Nazis' Are Responsible For Demonstrations In Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin is using some not unfamiliar lingo to discuss the uprising in Ukraine:

PutinHe's even gone so far as labeling Kiev protesters who confronted the former pro-Russian regime in Ukraine "gay Nazis," says Matthew Schmidt, an assistant professor of national security and political science at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

The gay Nazis label was simultaneously an attempt to tie the new pro-Europe camp in Kiev to the hated German Third Reich while also taking advantage of the growing acceptance of gay marriage in the West, particularly in the United States.

"Putin has said homosexuality is not our values, and that sense of tolerance of homosexuality is not part of Euroasia," said Schmidt, who will be in Ukraine monitoring the May 25 elections that are being overseen by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Euroasia is the name for the empire Schmidt believes Putin is trying to construct. Schmidt says Putin is driven by the goal of rebuilding a Euroasian empire with Moscow as its capital.

'Gay Nazis', as opposed to angry citizens who didn't appreciate part of their country being annexed by the authoritarian James Bond villain next door.

The uprising is instead due to the fact that most Ukrainians wish to remain Ukrainians, even the ethnically-Russian ones. Said Olena Nikolayenko, an assistant professor of political science at Fordham and native of Ukraine,

"Russia is an economically backward, authoritarian state. What can it offer for residents of eastern Ukraine, except higher pensions for the elderly and higher wages for the security apparatus to maintain the police state?"

Gays In Crimea Now Subject to Russia's Homophobic Law

Russia's annexation of Crimea last month was unsettling news for the region's LGBT community. The seizure meant that people in the Crimean peninsula were now subject to that country's much-talked about heinous anti-gay propaganda laws.

CrimeaIntergroup On LGBT Rights reports:

Vitaly Milonov, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg and co-author of the St. Petersburg anti-propaganda law, called for further measures to ‘eradicate the experimental practice of sodomy’.

He suggested cracking down on LGBT organisations and clubs, setting up a ‘morality police’, and restricting the use of online social media in relation to LGBT issues.

We've already started to see the consequences. Last week's Pride parade in Sevastopol was banned as a result of the law.

Ukraine is seeing the effects as well: 

In the meantime, the Ukrainian government withdrew a bill which would have banned discrimination in the workplace, only to re-introduce the same bill without sexual orientation as a protected ground. The European Commission’s report of November 2013 recalled that anti-discrimination measures, including sexual orientation, are a condition for visa liberalisation with the EU. A recent report by NASH MIR Center, a Ukrainian LGBT organisation, reveals that homophobia, transphobia and violence against LGBT people are still widespread.

An NBC News article interviewed several gays in Crimea, most of whom are forced to live a life in the closet.

At an anti-referendum rally in Simferopol one day before the vote, a man said he planned to move to Turkey as soon as he could save the money. "There is no democracy for people in Russia," he said in English. The demonstrator, Maxim Kornilov, later elaborated by email to NBC News, confiding that he is gay.

"Before Russian occupation it was really complicated to be a gay in Ukraine, that's why I'm still in a closet and feel like trapped," he continued. "Now it's absolutely unbearable." Twenty-nine years old, he works for a cultural exchange organization he says is financed by the U.S. embassy in Kiev. He lives with his mother, and hasn't told her he is gay.

Jews Ordered to 'Register' in East Ukraine

Jews have been ordered to "register" by pro-Russian militants in the city of Donetsk, USA Today reports:

LeafletJews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated," reported Ynet News, Israel's largest news website.

Donetsk is the site of an "anti-terrorist" operation by the Ukraine government, which has moved military columns into the region to force out militants who are demanding a referendum be held on joining Russia. The news was carried first by the Ukraine's Donbass news agency.

The leaflets bore the name of Denis Pushilin, who identified himself as chairman of "Donetsk's temporary government," and were distributed near the Donetsk synagogue and other areas, according to the reports.

Ynet adds:

According to Alex Tenzer, a Kiev native and one of the directors of the National Association of Immigrants from the Former USSR in Israel, said: "The Jewish-Ukrainian leadership supports Ukraine's new government, but it's hard to tell whether the leaflet is valid or simply a provocation.
"Anyway, the material is very anti-Semitic and reminds me of the kind of material distributed by the Nazis in WWII."
Emanuelle Shechter, from Israel, received a copy of the leaflet via Whatsapp from his friends in Donetsk. "They told me that masked men were waiting for Jewish people after the Passover eve prayer, handed them the flyer and told them to obey its instructions."

Update from Buzzfeed: Kerry

U.S. officials strongly condemned anti-Semitic leaflets allegedly being distributed in eastern Ukraine — even as it became clear that Jews were not in fact being forced to “register” and as questions arose about the provenance and authenticity of the documents.

“In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press conference after negotiations over the Ukraine crisis with Russia in Geneva. “And any of the people who engage in these kinds of activities — from whatever party or whatever ideology or whatever place they crawl out of — there is no place for that.”

...Pushilin, the pro-Russian local figure, has denied that his group put out the leaflets. And Kirill Rudenko, a spokesperson for the Donetsk Republic, also denied the group had anything to do with the flyer. “This is a total lie. We haven’t handed out any flyers. Our only tasks are defending the occupier buildings and preparing for the referendum,” he told BuzzFeed. “This is an American secret services provocation to discredit us.”

But even as the source of the fliers remains unclear, the U.S. government Thursday mounted a coordinated campaign to tie the flier to the separatists.

“Reports of Jews being forced to register by pro-Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine are chilling, outrageous and must be universally condemned,” White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes tweeted.

Did the EU Just Sell Out Ukraine's Gay Community?


Ukraine says the EU dropped a requirement that the country protect 'sexual minorities' as part of visa negotiations. The EU denies it.

Ukraine is looking for a legal makeover, but it may not benefit everyone.

PetrenkoOn Monday, Ukraine's parliament finalized a new anti-discrimination law, but in a worrying move for the country's LGBT community, the country's justice minister said the law would not include a clause to protect "sexual minorities."

"We did find an understanding with the European Commission on the draft law on discrimination," said Ukraine's Justice Minister Pavel Petrenko (pictured).

"And they removed their demands concerning the indication in the law of guarantees for sexual minorities."

But David Stulik, a spokesman for the European Commission delegation to Kyiv, denied the minister's claim. He told BuzzFeed that the EU had not dropped the requirement.

The law, which is part of a plan to do away with visas for Ukrainians traveling to the EU, does guarantee protection of all persons for race and religion, according to Petrenko.

Ukraine's parliament has previously considered anti-"gay propaganda" laws, though none have passed. Negotiations, it seems, are ongoing.

Author of Russia's Anti-Gay Law Among Those Sanctioned by U.S. Over Ukraine

President Obama today announced sanctions on certain Russian officials over its action in Ukraine. Among them is Yelena Mizulina, author of the ban on 'gay propaganda'.

The NYT reports:

MizulinaPresident Obama signed an executive order freezing the assets and banning visas for a number of Russians deemed to be responsible for the seizing of Crimea or otherwise interfering in Ukrainian sovereignty. Among those targeted were several officials in President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle, and the White House threatened to go after more if Russia did not back down....

...Among those targeted were Vladislav Surkov, one of Mr. Putin’s most influential advisers, known as the Kremlin’s “gray cardinal”; Sergei Glazyev, an economist who has been advising Mr. Putin on Ukraine; Valentina Matviyenko, chairman of the Federation Council, the upper house of Parliament; and Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister. No sanctions were placed on Mr. Putin.

Others named by the White House were Leonid Slutsky and Yelena Mizulina, members of the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament; and Andrey Klishas, a member of the Federation Council who wrote a bill to seize assets of Western individuals and assets in retaliation for any sanctions imposed on Russia.

Mizulina, as you may recall, authored Russia's ban on 'gay propaganda'.

Watch Obama announce the Ukriane sanctions, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Author of Russia's Anti-Gay Law Among Those Sanctioned by U.S. Over Ukraine" »


Towleroad - Blogged