‘from Russia With Love’ Series Profiles Gay Couples Living Under Putin’s Rule

Russia Will Be All Up in Everyone’s Business at the Winter Olympics

Right now, we just want simple human happiness.” Victoria and Dasha are just two of the fourteen LGBT subjects profiled in photographer Anastasia Ivanova’s touching series, ” From Russia with Love .” The project, covered in the queer arts and culture journal, Muff Magazine , features images of gay women living under Putin’s presidency, a regime that’s become infamous for its harsh anti-gay legislation . Victoria, 24 and Dasha, 27 “Sometimes our gay friends in Germany, America or England talk about their lives, and we feel as though its another world,” Olgerta and Lisa, two other subjects, told Ivanova. “No doubt they think the same about us, when we tell them of the situation in Russia. Our future is simple. We must leave.” Ivanova, and artistic director EA Bukanova, present the images of LGBT couples of all ages accompanied by personal stories about their relationships and personal lives. The women freely discuss how they met their significant others, the hardships they face as LGBT individuals, and the various hopes and dreams they have for their country. The stories range from beautiful accounts of romance in cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg to disheartening experiences that shed further light on the dismal human rights situation occurring overseas. Scroll through the photos of couples profiled in the story and head over to Muff Magazine for the full accounts. “In the future, all we want is to keep our little family together. Maybe if were lucky one day well have a child.” -Irina, 27 and Antonina, 31 “In public, we try not to hide our feelings, and are determined to hold hands and kiss each other freely, but the gay rights situation in Russia will end badly. The way we live makes us outlaws.” -Kate, 29 and Nina, 32 “We like to believe that one day the country will be free and happy, but in reality the policies our government is trying to implement do not seem to be ones that lead to a bright future.” -Katerina, 20 and Zhanna, 25 “There are no gay rights in Russia.

Putin says Russia will expand its Arctic presence, restore Soviet-era military base

Putin, striding through the Kremlins Savior Gate on a cloth-covered walkway lined with snapping-to-attention flag-bearers holding the standards of all of Russias 83 regions, came in from stage right. Deadly violence in Egypt as nation celebrates its military Abigail Hauslohner At least 40 people killed and hundreds injured in violence across the country, most of them in Cairo. Russia welcomes Olympic flame Will Englund President Vladimir Putin helps roll out the red carpet for the flame, but Kremlin winds are not so kind. Juan Forero and Marina Villeneuve Uribe relentlessly bashes Santos on Twitter, raising eyebrows with his warnings against the negotiations. Abdi Guled, Jason Straziuso and Associated Press Predawn strike, aimed at high-profile targets, comes two weeks after militants attack on Nairobi mall. Organizers had built an enormous stage that obscured Lenins tomb and stretched nearly the entire north-south length of the square that defines the heart of Russia. They packed it with cheerleaders in white, blue and red, two military bands, choirs in maroon ponchos, drummers, a bugle corps and traditional dancers, all to welcome the flame and the president. With a pale autumnal sun making its first appearance here in days behind him, Putin at last began the public celebrations in the run-up to Februarys Olympics. He had lobbied relentlessly to land them, has been closely involved in supervising their preparation and has gambled on their success as an affirmation of Russias return to greatness. As Putin walked to the stage before an assembled crowd of 1,000 or so, he appeared to be in an uncharacteristically sunny frame of mind. He smiled and waved genially, if not with any excessive enthusiasm, to the crowd. Russians have a talent for spectacle, and though the ceremony lasted just 22 minutes, it went full-bore all the way.

Russia welcomes Olympic flame

The system, called Sorm, will be supported through new infrastructure installed by various security companies. It will allow FSB full access to telephone and internet data, plus keyword tracking for flagged words and phrases in emails and chats or on social media. The Guardian worked with Russian journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan to obtain the government documents that lay out the operation. University of Toronto professor Ron Deibert, who is also the director of Citizen Lab told The Guardian that: The scope and scale of Russian surveillance are similar to the disclosures about the US programme but there are subtle differences to the regulations. We know from Snowden’s disclosures that many of the checks were weak or sidestepped in the US, but in the Russian system permanent access for Sorm is a requirement of building the infrastructure. It seems that FSB has been preparing since 2010 to ensure total access during the games, and the U.S. State Department is already warning American travelers about surveillance at the Olympics. The Guardian and Deibert point out that gay rights may be a central focus of the surveillance given Russia’s controversial laws about “homosexual propaganda.” Just through its existence, Sorm may discourage discussion and planned demonstrations/protests. Today Vladimir Putin officially sent the Olympic torch on its year-long trip around Russia, and talked in a speech about his country’s “openness and friendship.” And visitors will definitely be able to feel that spirit. Just by being at the games, they’ll be volunteering a whole lotta “openness.” [ The Guardian ]

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CAPTION By Associated Press, MOSCOW President Vladimir Putin pledged Thursday that Russia will expand its presence in the Arctic, adding that work is underway to restore a major Soviet-era military base there. Speaking at a meeting with activists of the main Kremlin party, United Russia, Putin said the Arctic region is essential for Russias economic and security interests. Deadly violence in Egypt as nation celebrates its military Abigail Hauslohner At least 40 people killed and hundreds injured in violence across the country, most of them in Cairo. Russia welcomes Olympic flame Will Englund President Vladimir Putin helps roll out the red carpet for the flame, but Kremlin winds are not so kind. Juan Forero and Marina Villeneuve Uribe relentlessly bashes Santos on Twitter, raising eyebrows with his warnings against the negotiations. Abdi Guled, Jason Straziuso and Associated Press Predawn strike, aimed at high-profile targets, comes two weeks after militants attack on Nairobi mall. Putin said the Russian military has been restoring a Soviet-era military base on the New Siberian Islands that was shut down after the Soviet collapse. He added that the facility is key for protecting shipping routes that link Europe with the Pacific region across the Arctic Ocean. Last month, a Russian navy squadron led by the flagship of Russias Northern Fleet, nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great, visited the archipelago, which occupies a strategic position on the Arctic shipping route. Putin said that the military has already re-established a permanent garrison there and will restore an airfield and other facilities. He angrily dismissed suggestions that the Arctic should be placed under the jurisdiction of the international community.