Madonna says she will no longer perform in Russia

Madonna says she will no longer perform in Russia
Madonna onstage in Helsinki in 2009 (Image: Vesa Härkönen under a CC licence)

10 August 2015

Global megastar Madonna has declared that she will not perform in Russia, citing her objection to discrimination against sexual minorities in the country.

“I won’t appear in Moscow or St Petersburg anymore, because I don’t want to perform in places where being homosexual is tantamount to a crime,” said the singer.

Madonna is preparing for a world tour, which will start in September. The last time she gave a concert in Russia was in 2012, during which she voiced her support for Pussy Riot and stated her hope for a world “filled with peace, freedom and tolerance”.

Homosexuality is legal in Russia, but attention has been drawn in recent years to discrimination and difficulties faced by LGBT individuals and groups, particularly in the wake of President Putin’s “LGBT propaganda” law. Under this law, introduced in 2013, it is not permitted to spread information aimed at minors that may cause a “distorted understanding” that gay and heterosexual relations are “socially equivalent”.