10 Horrific Videos Of Russian Violence Against LGBTs

Police detain a former Russian paratrooper after he attacked a gay rights activist who was holding a one-man protest in St. PetersburgIt’s been nearly a year since Vladimir Putin’s staunchly anti-gay regime passed legislation allowing the beating and assault of any LGBT person for any reason.

Despite a number of charitable campaigns and viral news stories designed to raise awareness and spark resistance, as well as political pressure abroad, Russia continues to allow shocking human rights violations against LGBTs or anyone merely perceived to be LGBT.

Below are some of the most horrific instances of anti-gay enforcement in action. None of the aggressors below have or will ever be charged with a crime.

Last August, a video surfaced on the Putin-friendly Russian social network showing a gang of five men brutally beating a trans woman in the middle of a park in broad daylight. In the video above, she is referred to as a “homosexual,” kicked in the head and body, thrown onto the grown, and stripped of her clothes.

Gay activist Kirill Kalugin was attacked and punched by a group of paratroopers last August while standing in St. Petersburg’s Dvortsovaya Square with a rainbow flag in support of Russian LGBTs. As you can see in the video above, police intervened only to arrest Kalugin for the promotion of “homosexual propaganda,” allowing his attackers to walk away scot-free.

Ukrainian X-Factor contestant Alexander Bohun was captured by skinhead vigilante group Occupy Pedophilia in December 2013 and filmed being tortured by the extremist group’s leader, Maxim Martsinkevich. In the video above, Bohun has his head shaved, is forced to suck on a dildo and drink a cup of urine. “I was referred to as ‘pedophile,’ mocked, and forced to admit actions and desires that I have not committed in any circumstances,” he later said in a police report.

Members of the feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot were immediately beaten, whipped and pepper sprayed after staging an impromptu protest of Russian anti-gay legislation outside an Olympic venue in Sochi this February. Russian police forces even whipped and beat some who were not involved in the protest, including photographers and reporters, and subsequently arrested the Pussy Riot members involved.

Members of extremist vigilante group Occupy Pedophilia made headlines last summer when they began luring gay men to meet so they could bully, harass, and sometimes beat them — acts that are completely legal under Putin’s anti-gay regime. In the video above, Occupy Pedophilia members capture, taunt, kick, and pour urine on a 15-year-old boy they found in a park.

Two weeks after Russia’s legislation banning “gay propaganda” was passed, LGBT activists met in St. Petersburg to urge President Putin not to sign the bill into law. Demonstrators were soon met with brutal force, detained, and beaten by Russian riot police.

A video showing Occupy Pedophilia members torturing 20-year-old South African student David Smith surfaced on VK last November, prompting Smith’s immediate expulsion from Shukhov State Technological University. In the video, antagonizers can be seen humiliating Smith by shaving his head, smashing watermelon in his face and forcing him to perform fellatio on a beer bottle.

In March 2013, gay activist Artem Kalinin was assaulted and punched in the face during a television interview in Syktyvkar. Kalinin was discussing his attempt to get clearance to hold a Pride parade in the city when neo-Nazi activist Alex Kolegov lurched at him, bringing him to the ground. Kolegov was never arrested.

Last weekend, a group of homophobic thugs assembled to take down students performing in a dancing flashmob to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The performance was not related to the LGBT community in any way, but participants were attacked because they were merely perceived to be gay.

The granddaddy of all videos documenting human rights violations in Russia was compiled by Human Rights Watch early last month. The four and a half minute video above documents a number of acts that would be considered criminal offenses anywhere else in the world, from brutal assault to kidnapping and, in extreme cases, attempted murder. These things are all perfectly legal in Russia, so long as they are directed toward someone who is perceived to be “promoting nontraditional sexual relations.”

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  • Cam

    But wait, this can’t be happening, Johnny Weir defended Russia and said it was great and gay Activists were idiots.

    He wouldn’t be a sell out loser who defends the murderers of gays now would he?

  • Kieran

    We’ve got people perceived as gay being beaten and shot dead in gay neighborhoods of New York City. In Saudi Arabia, a US “ally”, homosexuals can be legally put to death or maybe have their hand chopped off by the government.

    Let’s not pretend homophobic violence and hate only occur in Putin’s Russia.

  • money718

    @Kieran: Did the author say that?

  • DarkZephyr

    @Kieran: Your comment is nonsensical as Queerty reports on all sorts of violence against gays all over the world. In what way are they “pretending homophobic violence and hate only occur in Putin’s Russia?” Please explain.

  • Kieran

    Pay attention. I never accused Queerty or the author of anything. I’m just pointing out reality. Homophobic hate and violence is a worldwide problem. Those who act like homophobia has suddenly descended upon Russia should be aware that we’ve got people just like those in the videos right here in our own country.

  • queenrosered

    @Kieran: “we’ve got people just like those in the videos right here in our own country”
    Way to totally MISS the point. Yes, homophobia is not completely dead in North America but outright violence as shown here and acts of hate no longer go unpunished here either.In Russia, these acts are “celebrated” by hetero males. HUGE difference.Huge.
    And the REAL point IS that Russia, under Putin, has made great BACKWARDS strides.Totally out of step with developed nations they so wanted to be a part of.

  • Cam


    No, what you DID do is completely try and minimize what is going on in Russia by trying to draw a false equivalency with some of the homophobic attacks here in the U.S.

    The difference being that the attacks here in the U.S. are illegal and the govt. is moving on gay rights, with the latest being that the Federal govt. is recognizing marriages in Mi. even over the states objections.

    As compared to Russia where there is systematic govt. support for the attack and torture of gays.

    Two completely different things and your attempt to compare them is shameful.

  • yayjulian

    Why is the russian government so fucking ignorant? This is utter madness. EU should step in.

  • queenrosered

    @yayjulian: Unfortunately, we have here what basically boils down to an “elected dictator” who is also a total megalomaniac,who then militarily invades another country and takes land by occupied force, causing other allied powers to have to take measures against them etc. which always puts basic human rights issues on the back burner.In other words, first Russia needs a leader who has a grasp of twenty-first century social morays and expectations before we stand ANY chance of tackling issues such as equal rights for people of all genders and sexual persuasions, etc.

  • mezzacanadese

    It is not only Putin, although he is a horrible person. It is a fact that 80% of the Russian people are homophobic. I feel sorry for any gay person who lives in Russia. Sometimes I wish they could all come to San Francisco, but then who would be left to fight the fight? Nothing will change in Russia unless you can change the mind set of the majority of the people. I am the mother of a gay son, and thank God that we live here. Yes, there are Neanderthals here, too, but luckily they are in the minority.

  • cleo1

    Well said.

  • Sebizzar

    I can’t watch anymore of these vids. It kept me depressed for days, especially during the Olympic. And I already struggle with depression. I just wish there was something more I could do, and the world, but obviously not enough people care.

  • omacdonald

    THIS IS SO FUCKED UP! Why do we still do business with these people?

  • Frankie James

    Anything Russian. Trash it and never go back – that is what we can ALL at minimum .That is an ignorant backwards country lost and controlled by fools, haters, and criminals.

    Oh, and those first two comments were either written by idiots or Russian government fools. That shit does it happen here, stop giving them a pass. Your drama belongs on a stage.

    Remember nothing Russian , and. Be sure to tell everyone why, including the bar, store, and restaurant owners about your objections. Our wallets have always had the most power! You have something Russian, pack it up and send it back.

    USA not looking so bad these days huh .

  • Cagnazzo82

    Russians are true savages and barbarians.

    Not the ethnicity. I know a lot of great Russian people in the US.

    But the culture back in Russia. Horrendously barbaric.

    Also it’s not just that it’s crime-ridden. But that a lot of the violent crime is *sanctioned* by police. That’s what separates Russia from the West.

  • Cagnazzo82

    @Kieran: Note to Kieran: In the US *NONE OF THAT IS SANCTIONED BY POLICE!!!*

    Get a clue, and stop comparing apples to oranges.

  • Throbert McGee

    I think it’s especially important to call out the “Russian paratroopers” in the second video for their scandalous hooliganism and betrayal of military professionalism.
    I mean to say that Russians wouldn’t necessarily listen to or care about “these guys were beating up homosexuals”, but “these guys claiming to represent Russian military veterans were behaving publicly like a bunch of drunken thugs and ignoring the instructions from the uniformed police to calm down” can, in fact, have some effect on Russian public opinion.
    Repeat: Spin it as “unbecoming a professional military/police force” will likely work better than spinning it as “homophobic.”

  • Throbert McGee

    @Cagnazzo82: “Russians are true savages and barbarians”

    That’s no way to win friends and influence people, molodoi chelovek. Russians may be a trifle Klingon-ish at times, but they’ve heard of Dale Carnegie.

  • Throbert McGee

    @Frankie James: “Anything Russian. Trash it and never go back – that is what we can ALL at minimum .That is an ignorant backwards country lost and controlled by fools, haters, and criminals.”
    Your advice is probably almost as difficult and impractical to follow as “don’t buy Arab or Iranian oil,” although not as impossible as “don’t buy anything manufactured in China.”

  • Daniel-Reader

    Count the number of politicians violating human rights. Now consider the number of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allied people experiencing human rights violations. So all the people experiencing human rights violations from the acts of politicians need only enforce human rights by punishing politicians who violate human rights. The global LGBTA community – more than a third of Earth’s population – has to provide politicians with an undeniable reason to never violate the human rights of LGBTA people. The lesson of Stonewall was that there is only so much the LGBTA community will put up with before getting even.

  • Cam

    @Throbert McGee:

    Actually it is easy to effect the price of Russian oil. Conserve energy, the U.S. could reduce our dependence on Foreign oil and this would crash the price of all oil on the market. It wouldn’t matter if we buy Russian oil or not. When the price drops it hurts the price of all oil and since that is most of Russia’s economy right there, you have just sent Russia into a huge recession.

  • Frank

    The Russian government is more schizophrenic sometimes than North Korea or even China is. After all, the politicians basically abandoned their leadership roles and let the country and the economy crash and burn from corruption and stupidity in 1991 by dissolving the Soviet Union. Since then, what they now have have filling in the leadership void is the predictable fascist disaster that Putin is lording over, which also probably won’t end very well.

    But when politicians are failing on so many levels and refuse to take the heat, the age old excuse of making the harmless gays out to be the enemy, is exactly like what the GOP attempts to do in this country on a regular basis to get votes.

    And the GOP is already doing a great job of destroying the US economically since the 2000 elections, I might add. Then in 2004, in order to deflect ongoing criticism for fiscal GOP government mismanagement, the bigoted GOP decided to start vilifying the gays nationwide for the crazy Christian conservative votes.

    So really, we shouldn’t be too surprised by what is happening in Russia. And we need to see Russia as a cautionary tale of what could happen here to gays if the baby Jesus crazy GOP conservatives ever get a chance to completely wreck this country without proper guidance.

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