Why Are Russian Politicians Grumbling About this LGBT Teen Romance?


The Curtain Raiser – The Plot

You see a shy 16-year-old Yury arriving at a Soviet Pioneer Camp in the summer of 1986. He is uncertain and dreads the dull period that lies ahead of him. However, there is just one thing that keeps him going and cheerful. It is his group leader, Volodaya, who is a 19-year-old undergraduate. 

Gradually they get attracted to each other and fall in love. But if anyone finds out about their relationship, they might be imprisoned for five years. They discover their sexuality. But they drift away from each other for 20 years when a bunch of love letters discovered by Yury spurs him to look for Volodaya. 

Name of the novel – Summer in a Pioneer Tie

Debutant authors- Elena Malisova and Katerina Silvanova.

Who discovered the novel?

The novel was first published in a fan-fiction when Popcorn Books discovered it. This publisher mainly deals with queer fiction. The novel was released in late 2021 and has been a sensation. More than 200,000 copies of the book vanished from the shelves in the first six months alone, leading to exceptional hype. 

The novel is so popular that even on TikTok, all kinds of merchandise related to the novel were designed, and the post appealed to more than 250 million people that viewed the same. 

LGBTQ Rights in Russia and the Russian Parliament

The novel is more than a hit and has been a catalyst for the recent legislative assault on LGBTQ rights in Russia. In the past month, the Russian parliament passed a draconian law wherein “LGBT propaganda” was banned among adults. The law has criminalized homosexuality in public, books, online, advertising, films, and promotion. 

Review of the Summer in a Pioneer Tie

The book is straightforward, simple, and penned down, where the process of falling in love is sensitively attempted. A beautiful description is depicted when the two boys, Yury and Volodaya, fall in love. Will their love triumph? 

A threat to the Kremlin!

The plot, however, seems to be a threat to the Kremlin. It seemingly nullifies the parliament’s efforts to crush that is “everything gay.” What has been the outcome? Panic! 

How did the people react to the book being published? 

  1. Zakhar Prilepin, a militant nationalist writer, expressed that the Moscow office of the publishing house must be burned down. 
  2. Nikita Mikhalkov, a prominent actor and director, blasted and said that the book is a conspiracy that the degenerate West is directing. 
  3. Alexander Khinshtein, a hard-line member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and a parliamentary deputy, took the reins in his hands. He believes in portraying LGBTQ as a “weapon of hybrid warfare.” He also stated that Russia has been following and adhering to traditional values. He composed a bill that included all age groups and various related offenses. The offenses that he has mentioned include “undermining of traditional family values,” “inducement of pedophilic urges,” and “nontraditional sexual relationships.” All his efforts were greatly appreciated, and the bill passed unanimously. In a few days, it is expected to become law. 

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