Asia » Russia
Gay Guide Russia
Consensual homosexual acts between adults are legal, the age of consent is 16 years. Commercial sex is legal for the customer, sex workers can be prosecuted for misdemeanours. Make sure that potential commercial sex partners are at least 18 years old. The Duma passed the controversial "homo propaganda" ban for the whole of Russia in 2013. Anyone violating it will face severe fines or even imprisonment and foreigners can be expelled from Russia. "Homo propaganda“ includes actions such as waving a rainbow flag or public advocacy of homosexuality in the presence of children. Promotion of "non-traditional sexual relations" can lead to 15 days imprisonment. Another law has been passed which makes the adoption of Russian children by homosexual foreigners a punishable offence. That this law also applies to tourists is shown by an example in Murmansk, where three Dutchmen have been arrested on the basis of this law. President Putin put a law into effect at the beginning of 2020 that enshrines marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman in the constitution, thus making the introduction of homosexual marriages an impossible task for the future. Although Russia is deeply homophobic in public perception, there are significant differences depending on where you are. The cosmopolitan city of Moscow has a large gay scene with clubs, bars, gay-friendly hotels and saunas. Resistance to bans is also strong here, and the art and culture scene, together with activists, repeatedly demonstrate publicly against the queer-phobic regime. Queer people from other Asian countries find refuge in Russia's big cities and also significant improvents as to gay infrastructure and the way homosexuality is dealt with. Rural areas and small towns should be treated with particular caution; the independent Russian republic of Chechnya is even considered one of the most queer-hostile places in the world due to the systematic persecution and killing of homosexuals. Foreign visitors should always adhere strictly to the entry regulations. HIV-positive foreigners are deported from Russio. However, an HIV test is only required for repeated entry or when applying for a visa for a stay longer than three months. Russia is a worthwhile destination, but the tourism industry outside the big cities is not yet particularly customer-oriented. The diverse Russian cuisine, varied landscapes and the country's innumerable attractions are guaranteed to make your visit an unforgettable experience.
Cities in Russia
Location: East Europe and Northern Asia
International country code: 7 (omit 8 from area code)
International access code: 8 (wait for tone) 10
Currency: 1 Ruble (RUR) = 100 Kopeks
Capital: Moskva (Moscow)
Religions: 70% Russian Orthodox, 14% Muslims
Climate: Winters are cold, especially in the north east where there often severe snow falls. Summers are mild, although June and July can be extremely hot.
Important gay cities: Moskva, St. Petersburg