In the Russian city of Orenburg, two employees of an LGBTQ+ club, Alexander Klimov and Diana Kamilyanova, have been arrested under suspicion of involvement in an "extremist organization". This marks the first criminal case of its kind since Russia's Supreme Court banned the "international LGBT movement" in November.

If convicted, the defendants could face up to ten years in prison. The hearing was conducted behind closed doors, and Klimov and Kamilyanova will remain in custody until May 18th. The court alleges that they collaborated with a group supporting the views and activities of the banned association.

The police raid on the club, named Pose, occurred in early March following a request from local prosecutors and involved members of a nationalist group called "Russian Community". Confiscated items reportedly included stage costumes, wigs, and fake female breasts. The nationalist group lauded the raid as a "first successful operation".

This case signifies a significant shift, potentially indicating that authorities are now treating instances of "LGBT propaganda" as criminal offenses rather than mere administrative violations. The outcome may set a precedent for how Russian law is applied to LGBTQ+ individuals, reflecting a broader crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in the country since the Supreme Court's extremist designation of the "international LGBT movement".

Moreover, the rainbow flag, previously a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride, is now considered extremist. In a recent incident, a woman in Nizhny Novgorod was detained for wearing earrings featuring a rainbow symbol. These developments underscore the escalating pressure on Russia's LGBTQ+ community, exacerbated by laws banning "non-traditional sexual relations" propaganda and the prohibition of gender reassignment surgery. President Vladimir Putin has framed LGBTQ+ activism as a Western assault on "traditional Russian values".