The Russian Defense Ministry is attempting to clampdown on homosexuality with a new handbook that recommends recruits and contractors be checked for genital tattoos, like a the image of a “face” on the recruit’s penis.
The Russian newspaper Izvestia on Thursday published details about how recruits would be given a thorough examination and face questioning about their sexual history.
Signs of “promiscuity” could indicate mental instability, addictive personality and suicidal tendencies, according to the documents.
“The reasons for tattooing may indicate a low cultural and educational level,” according a machine translation of the handbook provided by Google. “If set to the impact of external incentives, such as persuasion, direct coercion, it will be evidence of compliance of young men, his tendency to obey the will of another.”
The “knowledge of symbols tattoos help the officer the best way to organize work with a specific person. Particular attention should be paid to the tattoos on the face, on the genitals, buttocks. They can testify not only about certain personal settings, and possible sexual deviation.”
After the examination, authorities hope to determine if the recruit has a “tendency to perversion,” meaning homosexuality.
Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volumes I-III co-editor Damon Murray told The Moscow Times that tattoos reflecting sexual orientation were also common in the Russian prison system.
“The most common image for this would be a woman entwined with a snake (on the back), or a set of eyes above the buttocks or the penis (making a ‘face’),” he explained. “Inmates might also be tattooed with dots or ‘beauty marks’ on the forehead or cheeks or above the upper lip (this signifies a ‘vaflyor,’ a passive partaker in oral sex).”
A military psychologist told Izvestia that the Russian military continued to hold fast to traditional views of sexuality.
“I had one gay contract soldier who joined just to find more partners for himself,” he said. “For people like that, of course, there’s no place in the army.”
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.