Seeking to link pro-Western forces in Ukraine with both the expansion of LGBT rights in the West and the brutal Nazi regime (whose incursion into Russia in World War II resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people), Russian president Vladimir Putin has taken to labeling anti-Russian protesters in Kiev as "gay Nazis," a leading Russia scholar reports.
Via Raycom News Network:
[Putin has] even gone so far as labeling Kiev protesters who confronted the former pro-Russian regime in Ukraine "gay Nazis," says Matthew Schmidt, an assistant professor of national security and political science at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.
The gay Nazis label was simultaneously an attempt to tie the new pro-Europe camp in Kiev to the hated German Third Reich while also taking advantage of the growing acceptance of gay marriage in the West, particularly in the United States.
"Putin has said homosexuality is not our values, and that sense of tolerance of homosexuality is not part of Euroasia," said Schmidt, who will be in Ukraine monitoring the May 25 elections that are being overseen by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Euroasia is the name for the empire Schmidt believes Putin is trying to construct. Schmidt says Putin is driven by the goal of rebuilding a Euroasian empire with Moscow as its capital. Putin also has written extensively on the subject of Euroasia, which would generally follow the geography of the former Soviet Union. Bringing Ukraine into Moscow's camp would be crucial to seeing that dream come to reality.
Russian media also have called the Maidan square, where protests led to the demise of former pro-Russian Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, the "Gayeuromaidan," thus tying together Europe and the gay rights movement, writes Yale history professor and author Timothy Snyder in The New York Review of Books.
And even more recently Russian politicians pounced on the opportunity provided by Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita West. The bearded drag queen "showed supporters of European integration their European future - a bearded girl," tweeted Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
Yeah, because speaking out for the sovereignty of your nation and the inviolability of its borders is, like, totally gay you guys. Ugh.