Cities including St Petersburg, Moscow, Volgograd,
Ekaterinaburg, Novosibirsk and Archangelsk all held rainbow
flashmobs to mark the day, as did smaller, lesser-known places such
as: Pskov, Murmansk, Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny and Ufa.
The peaceful flashmobs consisted of people holding and releasing
rainbow-coloured balloons and holding placcards which read 'Born to
be ourselves' and 'Homosexuality is not a disease'.
In particular, 150 people attended a flashmob at St.Petersburg's
Aviator's Park at 7pm on 17 May. Although it was officially
sanctioned and flanked by police, ten counter-demonstrators tried
to undermine it and were subsequently arrested.
Igor Kochetkov, Director of the Russian LGBT Network, told
PinkPaper.com: "Every year the number of people supporting the
IDAHO Rainbow Flashmob across Russia is increasing. More and
more towns and cities are participating in actions to mark
IDAHO. In some places, single individuals took part and for
us this is particularly precious. Each and every
individual makes a powerful contribution and adds to the momentum
for Human Rights in Russia. I want to say thank you to every single
individual in Russia who took part in this IDAHO protest against
homophobia, this action FOR the human rights for LGBT
Clare B Dimyon, MBE, and founder of PRIDE Solidarity, said: "I had
no idea how much LGBT activity was going on in Russia until my
recent visit to St Petersburg in April. Then there were an
astonishing 17 Day of Silence actions across Russia, now at least
30 IDAHO actions. It is an astonishing tribute to the courage
and persistence of Russian LGBT people and their friends and
This month's celebration marks twenty one years since the World
Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the list of mental
While two decades have passed since that decision, LGBT people in
many countries are still persecuted, suppressed and even forced to
undergo medical treatment.