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Moscow police have conducted raids on several gay clubs a day after the Russian Supreme Court classified the “LGBT movement” as an extremist organisation, banning its activities nationwide.

According to reports by local media, attendees at the clubs were detained briefly, with authorities photographing their passports. One of the club-goers expressed fear of potential long-term imprisonment. Although the police claimed the raids were drug-related, no official statement has been released by city authorities.

An eyewitness described the sudden interruption of a party, detailing how police entered various lounges and detained people, including foreigners. Sota, a Telegram channel, also recounted the raid by police, noting that three clubs in Moscow were targeted that evening. Social media posts have since circulated, showing police presence and vehicles outside the clubs.

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This crackdown is the latest in a series of measures against the LGBTQ+ community in Russia. In 2020, the Russian constitution was amended to define marriage strictly as a union between a man and a woman, explicitly excluding same-sex unions. The country has seen increasing suppression of LGBTQ+ rights, with a 2013 law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, later extended to all age groups in 2021.

The impact of these laws has been widespread, leading to the removal of references to LGBTQ+ people from various media forms. Earlier this month, a Russian TV channel altered a rainbow in a South Korean pop video to comply with the “gay propaganda” law, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Russia.

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