Russia, according to Ian Bateson, is less a dystopian oddity than a fledgling democracy where a beleaguered leader needs a scapegoat to head off populist outrage.
The spread of anti-homosexual propaganda laws in Russia has coincided with a general tightening of freedoms and civil society, and most notably recent crackdowns on non-government organizations and opposition leaders. Asylee and photographer Alexander Kargaltsev, 28, sees it as all being interrelated. “[The new law] indulges populism to shore up popularity ratings and draw attention away from the areas where the government is failing such as education, healthcare, corruption, and reliance on natural resources.”
Judging by the standard set by the Soviet Union when homosexuality was illegal and then legalized in the Yeltsin era, that Boris the boozing buffoon Americans came to ridicule now looks positively enlightened.