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Russian lesbian editor fired for snubbing Putin, she says

LGBT rights advocate Masha Gessen says she was fired from editorship of Russia’s oldest magazine for refusing to send a reporter to cover a Putin publicity stunt
Russian-US writer and LGBT rights advocate Masha Gessen

Russian writer and LGBT rights advocate Masha Gessen was fired from a prestigious magazine role for not covering a expedition attended by President Putin, she said on Twitter this week.

Since February, Gessen was editor-in-chief of Russia’s oldest magazine, travel monthly Vokrug Sveta (Around the World) until her contract was terminated this week.

Moscow Times reports that this was because she refused to send a reporter to an expedition where Putin would release endangered Siberian Cranes.

Vokrug Sveta recently joined forces with the Russian Geographic Society, which is headed by Putin ally Sergei Shoigu and Putin himself is chair of the trustees.

The magazine did not confirm or deny Gessen’s version of her sacking but confirmed on Tuesday that a disagreement over authority between the publisher and editors led to her departure, Moscow Times reports.

‘I’m leaving Vokrug Sveta #thankPutinforthat,’ Gessen tweeted on Monday.

In Gessen’s recently published biography of Putin, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rose of Vladimir Putin, she heavily criticizes the Russian President and calls him a dictator.

Gessen, who holds dual citizenship for Russia and the US, married Svetlana Generalova in the US in 2004. She is the author of The Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men in the Russian Republic, published in 1993 by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

In March Gessen called on Madonna to cancel her concert in St Petersburg to protest the city’s ‘homosexual propaganda law’.

The concert went ahead with the pop veteran commenting ‘I don’t run away from adversity’, but on the night pink wrist bands were given out in support of LGBT rights and Madonna told her fans to ‘show your love and appreciation to the gay community’.  

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