On their tour of Russia, the Berlin rock band Rammstein shows their solidarity with the oppressed LGBTI community. That displeases the Russian policy.
The Duma deputy Witali Milonow has sharply criticized the kiss of the Rammstein guitarists Paul Lander and Richard Z. in a concert with over 80,000 spectators in Moscow in the Russian radio station NSN. The band also shared the kiss in social media and wrote in Russian: “Russia, we love you!” (usa.lgbt reported).
“If they think it’s possible to act like this, then we should also consider it possible to stay away from such garbage,” said Milonov, a 45-year-old hardliner of the Putin party United Russia. After all, in Europe there are many “decent performers” who do not act so scandalously. He described the band members as “idiots”. “If they want to kiss, they should do that in Ukraine,” Milonov continued. He repeatedly accused Ukraine, which was still partly occupied by Russia, of basing itself on “the West” and betraying common values with Russia.
Milonow, who was first elected to the Duma in 2016, has built his career on homophobia. As St. Petersburg local politician, he initiated a homosexual “propaganda” law at the beginning of this decade (usa.lgbt reported). A short time later, the ban was extended to the whole of Russia. Again and again, he caused a sensation with media-effective appearances: Last fall, he personally blocked the entrance of a queer film festival in St. Petersburg (usa.lgbt reported). In 2012 he had already – in vain – called for investigations against Rammstein, because a concert in the city had “blatant and gross pornography” represented.
Rammstein in St. Petersburg
Rammstein will perform on Friday evening in the Gazprom Arena in Milonow’s hometown. Now it is speculated whether the very popular in Russia band again makes a political statement for LGBTI rights. Right here it would be appropriate: While the scene in St. Petersburg is still in shock after the murder of LGBTI activist Yelena Grigoriev, the city had not approved three possible locations for this year’s planned CSD this Saturday. On Thursday night, a court upheld the demo ban – LGBTI activists now want to hold one-on-one protests on Saturday that do not require a permit, but often end in arrests.
Rammstein had already set an important signal against homophobia in the last week: At a performance in Poland drummer Christoph Schneider had already waved a rainbow flag – on a rubber boat in the middle of the audience. This was interpreted as a response to brutal attacks by a CSD in Bialystok, Poland
In German media, the band is showered with praise for their actions. The foreign policy chief of the conservative daily newspaper “Die Welt” described Rammstein after the kiss as “the best ambassador Germany can imagine abroad”. RTL Online headline quite surprised: “Rammstein can also provoke soft”