According to media reports, Russian police have raided several gay bars and nightclubs in Moscow. In addition, a sauna that was only accessible to men was searched, various Russian media reported on Saturday. The apparently coordinated raids took place shortly after the international LGBT movement was banned by the Russian judiciary. The English abbreviation LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Videos showed police officers, among other things, in front of a nightclub popular with gays where a huge dance party was taking place. “The music stopped in the middle of the party,” an eyewitness told Ostoroshno Novosti. The police then took photos of the guests’ identification documents.

LGBT movement banned because of “extremism”.

Late on Friday evening, one of the city’s oldest gay clubs in St. Petersburg announced that it was closing. As justification, the “Hauptbahnhof” referred to a decision by the Supreme Court from the previous day.

Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday issued a ban on the “international LGBT movement” for “extremism” and banned its activities on Russian territory. The ruling came into force with immediate effect. However, the Supreme Court initially did not provide any information as to whether its ruling applied to specific people or organizations in Russia. This meant that its exact effects initially remained unclear. “Extremism” carries long prison sentences in Russia.

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