Russian authorities have included the NC SOS Crisis Group, a human rights organisation defending LGBTQ+ individuals, in the country’s contentious ‘foreign agents’ registry.

The concerning move, which was made on May 5th, also targeted Maria Pevchikh, the chair of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, and her associate Georgy Alburov, who was also added to the registry.

The Russian Ministry of Justice labelled NC SOS Crisis Group as ‘foreign agents’ based on their alleged promotion of “LGBT relations, which is contrary to state policy to preserve and strengthen traditional Russian spiritual and moral values,” according to a press release from the organisation.


The NC SOS Crisis Group operates as a human rights project, assisting LGBTQ+ people and their families who face persecution and harassment from law enforcement in the North Caucasus region of Russia.

Under President Vladimir Putin’s leadership, the Russian government has intensified its crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights, targeting LGBTQ+ rights organisations and advocates.

In December 2022, Putin signed an expanded version of the country’s ‘LGBTQ+ propaganda’ law, which prohibits the depiction of queer identities and issues in any media accessible to people of all ages.

Human rights advocates have strongly condemned Russia’s ‘foreign agents’ law, which has gradually expanded since its enactment in 2012, arguing that it aims to silence government dissenters by stigmatising them with a label carrying negative connotations within the country.

The designation serves as a hostile tag Russia uses to identify individuals and organisations engaged in political activities with foreign support. Designated entities are legally obligated to include an extensive disclaimer in their publications, including on social media platforms, regularly report on their finances, and undergo financial audits.

The NC SOS Crisis Group is not the first LGBTQ+ organisation to be labelled a ‘foreign agent,’ with the Russian government classifying the LGBTQ+ organisation Coming Out as a ‘foreign agent’ in 2014.

The Justice Ministry also added the Russian LGBT Network, Sphere Foundation, and Mayak to the registry, adding additional obstacles and complications to the work being conducted by the organisations.