A 23-year old man was found dead on Friday in Volgograd, Russia. He had sustained horrific injuries which indicate he was the victim of a homophobic attack.
LGBT campaigners say that the attack is evidence of increasing anti-gay feeling among Russian citizens.
‘He was raped with beer bottles and had his skull smashed with a stone,’ Natalia Kunitskaya, a spokeswoman for the Volgograd region branch of the Investigative Committee reported.
Andrei Gapchenko, regional investigator, admitted the two men began to attack the victim after he mentioned his sexuality. It is rare for the Russian establishment to admit that crimes are homophobic in nature. However, the nature of the injuries seem to indicate it is the case with the, as yet, unnamed victim.
The attack happened on Russia’s Victory Day on May 9. Both the attackers are in their late 20s. The men have been arrested in connection with the attack.
Nikolai Alexeyev, head of the gay rights organisation Gay Russia, said homophobic attacks are commonplace in Russia but they are hardly ever investigated as hate crime, ‘Homophobic hysteria is being increasingly promoted in Russia’.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia during 1993, but even though this is the case, homophobia is common. It has even been referred to as ‘socially acceptable’ by many. Incredulously, as of July, homophobia may be legally mandated.
‘Gay propaganda’ is a huge talking point in Russian Parliament at present. Parliament recently voted to approve a national ban on ‘gay propoganda’ which is apparently corrupting the nation’s youth. The music of Lady Gaga and Madonna would be banned if this bill were passed.