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Vladimir Putin has signed a decree banning so-called homosexual “propaganda” in Russia.
It is a nationwide version of laws already in place in cities including St Petersburg, the Russian President’s hometown.
Hundreds of people took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to demonstrate for and against the measure which effectively bans gay rights rallies and could be used to prosecute anyone voicing support for homosexuals.
The anti-gay activists threw eggs, smoke flares and stones at pro-lobby.
Police intervened with batons to stop the violence and detained dozens of people.