New political ad in Russia: If you don’t vote, you’ll have to accommodate homosexuals with broken hearts
A video urging Russians to go vote in the presidential election set for 18 March 2018 has attracted thousands of views on Russian social media sites.
The producers of the film – Dablbi studios – portray a series of horrors awaiting Russia if voters do not head to the polls: the protagonist’s son wakes up in the morning in a Pioneers’ uniform and asks for 4 million roubles [about USD 70 000] for protection at school; a black officer tries to draft the 52-year-old protagonist into the army and his bathroom alerts him that he is allowed to enter the toilet only at specific times. The ad touched on the issue of homosexuals as well: the family hosts a gay man who has recently broken up with his boyfriend, and the implication is that if he doesn’t find another boyfriend in a week, the husband will be forced to go to bed with him.
The media and social media sites have written much about the clip, and some even think the ad is connected to the Anatoli Navalny campaign, which is trying to convince people to boycott the vote and not participate in the election. The Russian election committee refused to register Navalny as a candidate for the presidency and the opposition politician believes that the election has been falsified even before it has started.
” ‘Strays’ leave no chances at all for anybody,” writes Oleg Kashin, a commentator for the Russian publication ‘Republic’.
“This clip shows just how the authorities view the average voter, his views, his fears, his culture and his language.
“It would have been more logical if, instead of a homosexual, there had been a Ukrainian radical. But for some reason they chose a homosexual. Probably because in order to frighten someone with instability, you need stability – but obviously, the authorities have some serious doubts about stability in Russia, and so they decided not to use the theme of instability,” Kashin wrote, referring to what many Russians believe about wide-spread hunger and difficult living conditions in Ukraine.
He continued: “However, they do try to threaten people with the army. The fear of being drafted is pervasive and eternal. But of course, it’s the critics of the authorities, the pacifists, the dissidents and the opposition politicians who have to use the fear of being drafted, isn’t it?
“When the state itself (and there is no doubt that it is the state behind this ad), threatens people with being drafted, there exists in this a tragi-comic contradiction. Because the state is threatening people with its very own nature and is not afraid to say that it is monstrous and horrible.”