Putin: Fleeing Russians Return Due to Gender-Neutral Toilets in the West

According to President Vladimir Putin, Russians are returning en masse to the homeland due to living conditions in the West. He claims that life in the West is difficult because of the existence of gender-neutral toilets.
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This statement by Putin was picked up by BBC journalist Francis Scarr. In it, Putin talks about "shared toilets for boys and girls," which he claims have become a normal phenomenon in the West. Russians who live in the West, having fled the country due to military mobilisation or oppressive political climates, are reportedly returning to Russia in large numbers, according to Putin, because they cannot live in countries with gender-neutral toilets. "It is very difficult to live under these conditions," the president explains.

Putin makes these remarks while in Russia, where he has made the living conditions for the LGBTQ+ community virtually impossible. Last year, the "LGBT+ movement" was labelled as "extremist" by the High Court. Additionally, transitioning is now illegal , and transgender individuals are not legally recognised. The notorious anti-gay propaganda law has also recently been tightened.

The anti-LGBT+ rhetoric serves as an electoral strategy for Vladimir Putin, positioning himself as the defender of traditional values. Furthermore, it allows him to distance himself from the "West," which he claims has become decadent, focusing solely on matters like gender and sex. Other world leaders are adopting this strategy, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and various African leaders.

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