Russia’s justice ministry has filed a motion with the country’s Supreme Court to ban the activities of what it calls the “international LGBT public movement” as extremist.

It is unclear whether the ministry’s statement refers to the LGBT community as a whole or specific organisations.

It said the movement had shown signs of “extremist activity”, including inciting “social and religious strife”.

The ban could leave any LGBT activist vulnerable to criminal prosecution.

The extremist label has been used in the past by Russian authorities against rights organisations and opposition groups such as Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation.

The top court will examine the motion on 30 November.

The ban would make it impossible for LGBT organisations to operate and put activists and employees at risk of criminal prosecution, the Moscow Times quoted one of the few LGBT activists still inside Russia as saying.

“Essentially, it would entail criminal prosecution based solely on one’s orientation or identity.”