“We are doing everything, both the organizers and our athletes and fans, so that participants and guests feel comfortable in Sochi, regardless of nationality, race or sexual orientation…”
Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted that gay participants and attendees of the upcoming 2014 Olympic festivities in Sochi will be welcome. Given Russia’s harsh anti-gay laws and the backlash they’ve been receiving, that’s hard to imagine, but here’s hoping he keeps his word. Russia has received international criticism for its criminalization of homosexuality, and that’s making for a tense lead-up to the Olympics. [TIME] [Image via WENN]
Back in February, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Ekaterina Samutsevich — three members of the controversial Russian feminist band Pussy Riot — walked into Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior and engaged in a raucous performance at the church’s altar. Shedding their winter clothes, the girls, clad in colorful dresses and balaclavas, danced and jumped around. The women then turned the 30-second clip into a music video for their song “Punk Prayer: Holy Mother, Chase Putin Away,” a raucous, punk-tinged rant against Russian president Vladmir Putin. Within days, the video had gone viral — and the women of Pussy Riot had been arrested.
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