French journalist Julien Pain has provided AMERICAblog with exclusive footage of Russian anti-gay member of parliament, Vitaly Milonov (the author of St. Petersburg, Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law that became the template for Russia’s now infamous nationwide law), attempting to crash, and close down, a gay festival in St. Petersburg, Russia this past Thursday.
The festival is called Queer Fest, and this is the fifth year the Pride event has been held in St. Petersburg.
Pain, who works for the French TV network, France 24, was in St. Petersburg producing a report on the city’s gay community for a show called Observers Direct, that will air in France on November 4. While interviewing attendees at the festival, Pain was informed that anti-gay member of parliament, Milonov, was just 30 feet away calling the police to get the festival shut down.
So doing what a good journalist does, Pain walked over, braved Milonov’s redneck thug security (why do they always wear those ridiculous Russian-mafia jogging sweats?), and proceeded to interview Milonov.
Oh, and did Pain get an earful. Including a bizarre claim from Milonov that the French government used chemical weapons against anti- “gay marriage” protesters in Paris a few months back, which is of course absurd, in addition to being awfully odd. (More on that below.)
There are two videos below, filmed by Ksenia Bolchakova for France 24. The first shows Pain approaching Milonov, and Milonov going off on a tirade about how gay people rape children. Milonov then explains that there are no hate crimes against gays in Russia, but in fact, Milonov claimed, gay Russians beat up straight Russians all the time. Yeah, sure they do.
This is one of those times that it’s best to let someone hang themselves. Here’s a quick transcript, video #1 follows:
France 24 journalist Julien Pain: Can I ask you what you’re doing here?
Russian member of parliament Vitaly Milonov: It smells worse here.
Pain: It smells worse?
Pain: What do you mean ‘it smells worse’?
Milonov: We are looking [at] how European country officials support those who rape kids. Those support sodomies. I think it would be nice for Dutch people to know that the representative of the Dutch government is supporting those who are against Christians. He fights Christian church.
Yes, I’m sure the Dutch people are very concerned that a representative of their government is attending a gay Pride event. Clearly, Milonov doesn’t get out much. That, along with Milonov’s notion that gays rape kids, pretty much tells you all you need to know about him. The man is a bigot, not terribly educated, and if you read on, seemingly a bit crazy to boot.
Pain then engages Milonov in a discussion about violence against gay and trans people in Russia, which we’ve documented at length:
Pain: There’s so much violence going on against gay people…
Milonov: Oh no no no, it’s a fake, it’s a fake information.
Pain: Well, it’s everywhere on the Internet. People get kidnapped, beaten…
Milonov: Oh, oh it’s a foolish story. It’s not true.
Pain: You’re saying there’s no violence against gay people?
Milonov: It’s not true. I think that much violence goes from gay people to straight people. Much more violence.
Pain: You think there’s no violence against them?
Yes, when will those gay people stop committing all those hate crimes against heterosexuals?
You have to wonder if Milonov is simply stupid, presumes the rest of the world is as out of touch as far too many Russians are, since the country is far from a democracy and doesn’t have a terribly free press, or whether he actually believes this tripe, which brings us back to stupid.
Russia’s anti-gay violence has become world famous now that anti-gay vigilantes are kidnapping young gay and trans Russians, beating and torturing them, and then filming the entire assault and posting it on Russia social media sites, all with the tacit approval of the Russian government which pretty much gives them free reign to do whatever crimes they want, so long as the victim is gay or trans.
Though in all fairness to the Russians, as a result of the international outcry over the near epidemic of anti-gay vigilante groups spreading across the country, the authorities now say they may prosecute one vigilante, if they can find him (they do have his face and hometown on video, so how hard can it be?), and if he’s convicted, they’ll push for a whopping 3 months in jail for kidnapping and torture. In contrast, you get 5 years in jail in Russia for shooting a cat.)
Here’s France 24’s first video – fyi, I’m trying to get YouTube to permit the video to embed, but every time I select “permit embeds,” YouTube resets it to “ban embeds.” Seriously annoying. So for this first video, just click through to see it on YouTube if you can’t see it here.
Right, no violence against gay and trans people in Russia. Uh huh. This young man wasn’t kidnapped, beaten, then raped with a bottle a week ago in order to cure him.
And this trans woman wasn’t publicly beaten.
The second video is just as nutty, with Milonov claiming that France is a fascist country run by the SS, and anyone who disagrees with gay rights is beaten and thrown in jail.
But my favorite part of all is when Milonov claims that the French police used poison gas on religious right and far-right anti-gay demonstrators in Paris a few months back:
Milonov: “Why did you beat peaceful citizens on the street because they were protesting against same-sex marriages? In France, they beat hardly, they treat with the gas, like Syria rebels.”
Yeah, I’m pretty sure the French government didn’t use Sarin gas against religious right anti-gay protesters in Paris. Good try, though. As lies go, Milonov wins an Oscar for that one.
When Pain tries to explain that anti-gay protesters were arrested several months ago in Paris for violently attacking the police, Milonov claimed it was all lies. In fact, Milonov is the one who is lying, as has been detailed repeatedly on this site, and via the French media and live video taken from the violent far-right anti-gay protests in France.
Milonov also had a rather telling “tell” in his talk with Pain. After Pain identified himself as a French journalist, Milonov kept suggesting that Pain was speaking for the French government. It was almost as if Milonov couldn’t understand the fundamental concept that in most developed nations, the government doesn’t own and operate the press (nor do we murder journalists who refuse to be run by the government).
In many ways, watching Milonov in these videos, it brought me back to all of my years of Soviet Studies, and my trips to the Soviet Union and then Russia shortly after the USSR was dissolved. Milonov would have made a fine Soviet. Lots of hate and lies, and ignorance, swirling inside that man.
Then there’s also the fact that he used to be a Baptist, which is odd and telling. Russia is Russian Orthodox. I’m Greek Orthodox. It’s all part of the larger Eastern Orthodox Faith. It’s somewhat odd in those countries to choose to be a member of a different Christian faith. Even odder, I’d argue, to then switch back, which Milonov did later on. For someone who claims to care so much about his faith, he seems rather flighty about faith in his own life (Marco Rubio’s bouncing ball faith journey comes to mind). It’s just an interesting observation about a man who seems to have a lot of issues.
Here’s France 24’s second installment:
The Russians are going to need to pay their Madison Avenue PR firm, Ketchum, another couple of million to clean up this mess.