Artem Savinovsky, the CEO of the Russian Internet and technology company Yandex, has been charged with violating Russia’s stringent new “LGBT propaganda” law.
The news was announced on the court’s website earlier today, according to Reuters.
The move comes the day after Yandex’s online film database subsidiary Kinopoisk was fined 1 million rubles ($11,050) for what was described by a company representative as an “incorrect labeling of LGBT films.” The movies in question reportedly included Briget Jones’ Diary and the black comedy Greed.
Last month the company was also fined 2 million rubles for refusing to share user information with Russian security services.
The new anti-LGBTQ+ law in question expanded a 2013 ban against spreading “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors to also include adults. The new law took effect December 5, 2022, and makes it illegal to promote or “praise” LGBTQ+ relationships or suggest that they are “normal.” The new law also bans all advertising, media, and online resource books, films, and theater productions that affirm the LGBTQ+ community or individuals.
Under the new law, individuals can be fined up to 400,000 rubles for “LGBT propaganda” and up to 200,000 rubles for “demonstrations of LGBT and information that encourages a change of gender among teenagers.”
In January, the Russian language news outlet Vedomosti reported the Roskomnadzor (RKN), the government committee regulating compliance with Russia’s new anti-LGBTQ+ laws, issued criteria for banning content that affirms “nontraditional” sexual relations, relationships, LGBTQ+ people, or the LGBTQ+ community..
An earlier list of proposed banned content provided by the RKN included films Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Call Me By Your Name (2017), and episodes from TV shows The Sex Lives of College Girls and This Is Going to Hurt.
While it is unclear what specific charges Savinovsky faces, he is reportedly facing administrative rather than criminal charges.