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Earlier this month, the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the rising culture of repression and violence directed against LGBT people in Crimea. In March of 2014, Russia annexed the Autonomous Republic of Crimea—which had been part of Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991—exacerbating the already dangerous instability that continues to plague Ukraine to this day. While sovereignty of the Black Sea peninsula remains contested, the new government has quickly taken to Russian attitudes towards homosexuality.
Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov (pictured), who was elected under uncertain legislative circumstances, has been vocal in his opposition to the right of LGBT Crimeans. Today, Gay Star News reports that no LGBT organizations operate openly, as the Russian anti-gay propaganda law has been imposed and is rigorously enforced—the region's annual Pride parade was cancelled last year. Aksyonov said that Crimea does "not need such people, and they will never hold their events publicly."
Tanja Fajon, vice-President of the European Parliament intergroup on LGBTI rights, has called the situation "deeply concern[ing]." Calling upon Russia, as the occupying power, to protect vulnerable communities in Crimea, she urged the European Union to maintain pressure on the issue, adding:
"With homophobic rhetoric coming from the highest levels, and violence going completely unpunished, it is no wonder that many see no other option than leaving the peninsula."
Photo via Wikipedia/Kremlin.ru