Russia: Moscow officials ban Conchita Wurst parade

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

Russian officials have blocked a group from holding a parade in honour of Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.

To celebrate the victory of the Austrian drag artist, a ‘Conchita Wurst March of Bearded Women and Men’ had been due to take place in Moscow next week on 27 May.

However, the parade, which activist Nikolay Alexeyev described as “a trial balloon in our relations with the Moscow mayor’s office this year”, has been banned by officials.

According to the Guardian, official Alexei Mayorov said: “We informed them that the event could not take place.”

He added that his decision was made “to respect morality in the education of the younger generation”, but also due to “concerns [the march] would provoke clashes between gays and their opponents”.

Wurst’s Eurovision victory has been condemned by several Russian figures, with the state’s railways boss describing it as “vulgar ethno-facism”.

The Deputy Leader of Russia’s Communist party, Valery Rashkin, has led a call for the country to withdraw from the competition, and create a “family friendly” rival competition for its regions and allied countries.

He had said: “The last Eurovision contest’s results exhausted our patience.

“We must leave this competition. We cannot tolerate this endless madness.”

Despite moral outrage from leaders, Russia’s public voted Wurst’s performance the third best on the night, and her winning song, Rise Like a Phoenix, has topped the Russian iTunes charts.

Moscow has previously attempted to ban the Moscow Pride event, and over 30 people were arrested at last year’s march.