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The Daily Vertical The Kremlin's War On Women (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

There's a couple disturbing things that may have escaped everybody's attention amid all the excitement this week.

Federation Council deputy Yelena Mizulina has just submitted draft legislation to Russia's parliament that would decriminalize domestic violence.

And days earlier, Anton Tsvetkov, a senior official with Russia's Civic Chamber warned women that they could face criminal charges if they use excessive force in resisting rape attempts.

Yeah, you heard that right.

So Vladimir Putin's regime long ago declared war on gays and lesbians. And now, it appears, it's declaring war on women.

But this isn't happening in a vacuum. The Kremlin's moves to decriminalize wife beating and prevent women from resisting rapists is happening amid rising awareness of sexual violence.

Earlier this summer, Ukrainian social activist Anastasia Melnichenko shared her experience with sexual violence under the hashtag #янебоюсьсказати -- Ukrainian for #IAmNotAftaidToSay.

And she encouraged others to break taboos and do the same.

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The hashtag took off, not just in Ukrainian but in its Russia version -- #янебоюсьсказат --as well.

The online campaign sparked widespread public discussion and exposed the extent of the problem in both countries.

But such discussion has not been welcomed by the Russian authorities, who profess to champion so-called traditional values and distrust civic activism of any kind.

And they probably weren't enamored with the fact that the #IAmNotAftaidToSay movement originated in a Ukrainian civil society the Kremlin abhors.

So rather than deal with the problem, the Kremlin has apparently opted to double down on the status quo.

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