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Russia: Activist Yulja Tsvetkova cleared of all charges

Young LGBT+ activist and feminist Yulja Tsvetkova had been charged with violating the Russian "gay propaganda" law for drawing a rainbow family. After a three-year legal battle, she is now free.

In 2019, when Yulja heard about a same-sex couple who had to flee Russia with their two adopted children after being targeted by the authorities, she drew a picture. The text said: “Family is where love is. Support LGBT+ families.”

After she shared this and other drawings promoting inclusivity on social media, the authorities brought trumped-up charges against her for violating the Russian anti-LGBT “gay propaganda law” and distributing pornography, fined her 50,000 rubles (around 800 USD / 722 €), and put her under house arrest. Like many others before, Yulja was prosecuted simply for expressing her wish for equality and justice in Russia.

For that, she faced up to six years in prison. All Out members reacted immediately. More than 180,000 signed her petition and started distributing her drawings in solidarity!

Even after she was released from the house arrest, authorities tried to make an example of her and kept charging her with violations of the anti-LGBT “gay propaganda law”. More than three years went by and prosecutors continued to target Yulja.

But finally, in November 2022, she was at last cleared of all charges and able to leave the country together with her family.