Accessibility links

Breaking News


Vladislav Pozdnyakov has left Russia, with his current whereabouts unknown.

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia -- A court in Russia has declared a notorious anti-feminist, anti-LGBT, racist group known as Male State an extremist organization.

The Nizhny Novgorod regional court in the Volga Federal District on October 18 banned the online-group's activities in Russia.

The Interior Ministry's antiterrorist center described the group at the hearing as an organization that promotes ideas of "radical patriarchate with a goal to change the country's constitutional structure."

The group was created online by Vladislav Pozdnyakov in 2016 and its members were openly racist and misogynist, advocating extreme right-wing views, and even calling for morality police.

Members celebrated Adolf Hitler's birthday and railed against Russian women they felt were destroying the Russian nation through immoral behavior such as homosexuality or consorting with foreigners.

Pozdnyakov called the community's ideology "national-patriarchy." In many cases, the group's members threatened to attack feminist and gay activists and organized online bullying of many activists.

In July 2020, the social media site VK blocked the Male State community, which at the time had about 170,000 members, for calls for violence. Pozdnyakov's TikTok account was blocked in April 2020. The community, however, continues to exist in various closed forums and Telegram channels.

Two months ago, Pozdnyakov's group made headlines after its members organized high-profile online bullying and DOS-attacks against two restaurants in Russia - Yobidoyobi and Tanuki, for using people of African descent in their commercials.

In July, the group threatened to "kill" the children of journalist Anna Mongait after she interviewed a same-sex couple for her TV program.

In 2018, Pozdnyakov was convicted of inciting hatred toward women and handed a two-year suspended prison term. He then left Russia. His current location is unknown.

With reporting by Mediazona
Face Pay: Moscow Metro's Facial-Recognition Payment System Raises Surveillance Concerns
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:02:25 0:00

The Moscow Metro has touted a new facial-recognition payment system as the first mass-scale use of a technology that will bring greater convenience to people's everyday lives. But its launch in Russia has raised concerns about the system's possible misuse for surveillance purposes.

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More