Reveal: Russia’s new scapegoats

In light of recent reports about Chechnya’s anti-gay kidnappings, torture and killings, Reveal revisits stories that expose what it’s like to be gay in Russia. Right now, hateful rhetoric against the LGBT community appears on a daily basis on Russian TV and in speeches by Russian politicians. Reveal traces the roots of the anti-gay movement and shows how President Vladimir Putin uses this agenda to quash political dissent, exert influence on neighboring nations and bash the West. — by Reveal Staff. Image: Anna Vignet for Reveal

Our hour begins with a look at the situation in Chechnya and how it’s connected to what’s going on throughout Russia.

After that we revisit an investigation that Coda Story’s Amy Mackinnon brings us from St. Petersburg. She tells the story of a gay Russian journalist who was murdered in his apartment by a suspect who proudly calls himself “the cleaner.” She talks to a politician whose homophobic laws and rhetoric have unleashed this kind of violence, and to a vigilante who has targeted dozens of gay and lesbian teachers.

Putin’s anti-gay policies are finding surprising support in our own backyard. The next segment takes us to a conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, organized by the World Congress on Families, which is based in Illinois. Coda Story’s Natalia Antelava introduces us to one of Putin’s closest allies, who is developing connections with anti-gay activists in the U.S. and around the world.

Putin and his government have been selling their anti-gay message to the Russian people using the state-run media. In our final segment, we hear about the propaganda that Russians are consuming on a daily basis on the evening news.

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Reveal is a weekly radio program produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. For more, check out our website and subscribe to our podcast.

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