Report: Russian LGBT advocates detained for protesting Ukraine invasion

(photo from an earlier demonstration, not of the protest against the Ukraine invasion)

Two prominent Moscow LGBT activists have reportedly been detained for protesting the invasion of Ukraine outside the Ministry of Defense in Moscow on March 4. According to Masha Gessen, a prominent Russian journalist and LGBT activist, Reyda Linn and Nix Nemeni have taken part in nearly every LGBT demonstration in Moscow over the past year, including the demonstration at Red Square, in which they were arrested.

Gessen reported that Linn and Nemeni were two of about a dozen protestors detained. At least one person was released, but the others were held overnight. The demonstrators were then held for 5 hours in an unheated van outside the Yuzhnoye Tushino court. Reyda asked for medical help but the police who are holding them refused to call an ambulance.

Yesterday, Linn and Nemeni were sentenced to 10 days of administrative arrest. Other demonstrators received fines, while some received up to 15 days in jail. The detainees have been without medical care or medications. Friends have attempted to bring epilepsy medication for one of the protestors, but have not been able to get the medication to the person who needs it.

"I think this is a very frightening situation. Reyda and Nix, with their history of detentions, are at risk of further harassment," said Gessen. "And being known to the police as LGBT activists exposes them to greater risk of violence."

While Russian news has shifted to the Ukraine, it is important to remember that the internal crackdown includes LGBT people like Reyda Linn and Nix Nemeni. GLAAD will continue to advocate for greater coverage of anti-LGBT forces around the globe. For more on Russia, visit