Sochi's Cabaret Mayak, a popular hangout for both gay and straight, enjoyed the limelight through the Sochi Winter Olympics.
As Crimea officially joins Russia, international observers shift their attention to the future of Ukraine.
A small group of LGBT activists tries to change the situation in one of Russia's most homophobic cities.
Dmitry Chizhevsky came to a Rainbow Coffee party in Saint Petersburg, an LGBT gathering. Little did he know that a few moments later he would lose his eye in an attack.
As the Olympic Games begin in Sochi, Ukraine totters towards an economic and political collapse—a condition so potentially contagious to Russia that a concerned President Putin has begun a crackdown.
Gays and lesbians living far from Russia's major population centers face daily discrimination and frequent violence.
This month Putin surprised even the biggest Russia experts: he pardoned his biggest enemy and critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. There were some surprises for Putin too from crises regions.
Even in the most remote provinces across Russia and its satellites, in post-industrial towns drowning in discontent, children study in arts schools, learn painting, music or ballet.
Fear is the real legacy of Putin's Russia, particularly in Russia's 342 "monotowns," single industry centers where economies are collapsing and dissent is not tolerated.
The Kremlin offered to re-locate Russians living in monotowns. But many are unhappy to leave places that several generations of their families have called home.
Corruption, fear and asbestos dust mar the day-to-day of monotown Asbest. Like hundreds more industrial towns dependent on a single industry, residents search urgently for an exit strategy.
People in a mono-town Asbest are more afraid of anti-asbestos campaign than of asbestos. But now authorities give citizens of Russian mono-towns a chance to escape dependence on a single industry.