There’s no denying that German metal giants Rammstein put on one of the most ambitious, visceral live shows on the planet. Over the course of their career they’ve become the masters of pyrotechnics, but no amount of flames can hold a candle to the band’s bold performance in Moscow on Monday.

The band took a powerful stance against Russia’s anti-LGBT laws when guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe shared a quick pash during the end of their track ‘Ausländer’. The kiss was captioned by a fan and shared on the band’s official Instagram with the caption, “Russia, we love you!”

Landers and Kruspe have been sucking face during the track throughout their European run, though in Russia it’s a particularly defiant move in the era of the “gay propaganda” law signed by Vladimir Putin in 2013. The law in question bans materials that would “[present] distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships.”

Under this law, offending “foreigners may be arrested and detained for up to 15 days, then deported, or fined up to 5,000 rubles and deported.”

You can watch footage of the performance below.

Watch: Rammstein – ‘Ausländer’ live in Moscow

YouTube VideoPlay

Back in June, Elton John penned an open letter to Vladimir Putin, after LGBT sex scenes were edited out of Russian screenings of his biopic Rocketman, as a result of the oppressive censorship laws.

In an interview with Financial Times, Putin explained the decision to remove the scenes from the film. “I am not trying to insult anyone because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia. But we have no problem with LGBT persons.” Putin explained. “But some things do appear excessive to us. They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles.”

In response to Putin’s comments, John wrote  “I was deeply upset when I read your recent interview in the Financial Times. I strongly disagree with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies.

“I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to ‘be happy’ and that ‘we have no problem in that.’ Yet Russian distributors chose to heavily censor my film Rocketman by removing all references to my finding true happiness through my 25-year relationship with David and the raising of my two beautiful sons. This feels like hypocrisy to me.”

You can read the letter in its entirety below.

Dear President Putin,I was deeply upset when I read your recent interview in the Financial Times. I strongly disagree…

Posted by Elton John onFriday, 28 June 2019

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