After some bizarre Facebook status updates over the weekend, some are starting to worry that Nikolai Alekseev — the most vocal gay rights activist in Russia — may have been kidnapped or that his account may have been hacked. Others, however, claim this behavior is classic Alekseev.
In a series of status updates, Alekseev claimed Russian gays were seeking “fake asylum” in Canada and the U.S., charged two of his American Facebook friends as pedophiles, and announced his hatred for the West. This led some to believe Alekseev’s account had been hacked — his Facebook page is no longer available — or that he may have been kidnapped or detained by the government.
So So Gay reports:
Perhaps most unnerving of all, earlier today, a series of photographs were posted to Alekseev’s account under the title ‘Kidnapping’. In the album were three images of Alekseev in a bunker-like location dressed only in his underwear. A subsequent status update made reference to a ‘porno contract’. […]
Earlier this week, Alekseev was summoned before a committee to answer charges of libelling two politicians who had played a central role in the introduction of an ‘anti-gay propaganda’ law. The timing of the erratic updates has led some to speculate that Alekseev was, in fact, detained following the hearing and that his account is being updated by his opponents in an attempt to undermine him.
However, blogger and activist Melanie Nathan, along with other activists, claim this behavior is typical for Alekseev and that he may have just fallen off of his rocker. According to Nathan:
He has been (allegedly) kidnapped in the past, even though many were suspicious that he made it all up. That his so called disappearance was a vacation with a wealthy boyfriend abroad.[…] I consulted with many fellow activists before putting up this post and said I was willing to be wrong and to take the risk. All who had encountered him in the past, said it is time to bring this back story into the open. ” It is time to dethrone the GAY PUTIN,” said one. Those who encountered Alekseev in the U.S. said an unhinged Alekseev is a typical Alekseev, and it is not a hack or kidnap.
Nikolai Alekseev’s erratic behavior and speculation as to his whereabouts and safety adds another layer in the unfolding drama surrounding Russia’s LGBT community. Their plight has come to global attention thanks to Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law and its potential effects on gay athletes and spectators at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next year. Queerty will continue to report on Alekseev’s status as more information becomes available.