Russia seeks to ban non-existent ‘anti-Russian separatist movement’

The Russian Justice Ministry is looking to ban the “anti-Russian separatist movement” as an extremist organisation, it announced Friday.

The movement’s goal is to “destroy Russia’s multinational unity and territorial integrity”, the ministry said in its motion that will be heard by the Supreme Court on 7 June.

No organisation of that name exists in Russia, human rights group OVD-Info reported, in a case reminiscent of the non-existent “international LGBT movement” that Russia banned last year.

The vaguely defined “LGBT movement” ban led to a crackdown on LGBT groups and queer safe spaces in Russia, which has seen people arrested for sharing LGBT symbols, and queer venues raided and forced to close.

In March, managers of a Russian gay club were arrested, prompted by accusations of “extremism” by local far-right activists.

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