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Russia said yesterday it would begin releasing men jailed for having homosexual relations with consent, after parliament relaxed the country's strict anti-gay legislation, Reuter reports from Moscow. A Justice Ministry spokesman said that from 27 May it was no longer an offence for consenting males to have homosexual relations. Russia had among the toughest anti-gay legislation in the world, in which consensual sex between males was punishable by up to five years in jail.