In a startling move, one of Russia’s largest streaming platforms has revised the age rating for the popular children’s cartoon series ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ to 18+, catering exclusively to adult audiences.

This decision by the Kinopoisk movie database, a subsidiary of the prominent web portal Yandex, aligns with Russia’s stringent stance on LGBTQ+ content under the nation’s controversial propaganda laws.

The change in rating, announced just days after Russia’s Supreme Court labelled the LGBTQ+ movement as extremist, has sparked widespread speculation. Analysts believe the revision may be linked to the character Rainbow Dash, known for her rainbow-coloured tail and mane, a symbol often associated with LGBTQ+ pride.


This development comes in the wake of the November ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court, which effectively declared all forms of LGBTQ+ activism illegal. The court’s decision, following a submission by the Ministry of Justice, broadly categorized the “international public LGBT movement” as extremist. However, it did not clarify the exact meaning of this term. Human rights groups fear that from January 10, as per legal interpretations, any LGBTQ+ activism in Russia may face outright prohibition.

Accusations by the court of “extremist nature” activities, including alleged “incitement of social and religious discord” by LGBTQ+ individuals, have been met with scepticism, lacking concrete evidence. Nonetheless, these claims have intensified the risks faced by Russian citizens identifying as LGBTQ+, potentially leading to imprisonment for involvement in the so-called movement.

Max Olenichev, a prominent human rights lawyer and LGBTQ+ activist voiced concerns about the potential misuse of this ruling to target LGBT+ initiatives operating within Russia. This latest episode is part of a broader pattern of escalating restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights under President Vladimir Putin’s administration.

In 2013, Russia introduced a nebulous law against “gay propaganda,” targeting material promoting “non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. Subsequent amendments have further tightened these restrictions, resulting in the prohibition of same-sex marriages and the banning of gender-affirming healthcare for transgender individuals.