According to a BuzzFeed News report, a group of around 40 gay men are hiding elsewhere in Russia to escape the country’s homophobic persecution, and have had difficulty acquiring visas to leave the country.https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/us-denies-visas-to-gay-russians-fleeing-kidnapping-and?utm_term=.tokXvdmao#.opbQYn38a
Since the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta first reported the abuse of dozens of gay Chechens in April, just two have managed to secure visas to safe countries despite the European Union and the United States expressing concern about the allegations, Zakharova said. A handful of gay Chechens have fled without visas because they believed the danger of staying in Russia was too great.
Svetlana Zakharova, a representative for the group Russia LGBT Network, told BuzzFeed “negotiations have been difficult” with countries that could provide safe haven for these queer refugees. She went on to say that “the US is not going to issue visas for people from Chechnya.”
Left with no way to get out, the gay men seeking visas continue to fear for their lives in Russia. The strongman who rules Chechnya with near impunity, Ramzan Kadyrov, is accused of having his critics hunted down both in other parts of Russia and outside Russia's borders.
Kadyrov has responded to the Novaya Gazeta reports — which have since been confirmed by human rights organizations and international news outlets — by denying such a crackdown could have taken place because Chechnya "does not have this phenomenon called non-traditional sexual orientation." Several of the reporters involved in breaking the story left Russia in fear for their safety after a Kadyrov advisor called them "enemies of our faith and of our country" in a televised rally in April.
Zakharova told BuzzFeed News that "negotiations have been difficult" with representatives of countries that could provide safe refuge for survivors of the violence. She would not name the countries the organization was still trying to secure visas from because this could put any Chechens whose applications ultimately succeeded in danger, but she said in an email to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday that "we were informed that the US is not going to issue visas for people from Chechnya."