Case closed?

Russian police say brutal anti-LGBTQ murder was merely a “domestic conflict”

Yelena Grigoryeva
Yelena Grigoryeva (image via YouTube screenshot)

This week, international headlines recounted the murder of Yelena Grigoryeva, a Russian LGBTQ activist who was stabbed eight times and strangled after her address was posted on a website encouraging people to torture her and other queer activists.

But despite her inclusion on that website and her receiving multiple death threats before her murder, Russian authorities say that Grigoryeva’s murder was committed by a man that she was “previously familiar” with.

A statement by Russian authorities (translated into English) says:

According to the investigation, the suspect on the night of July 20 to 21, 2019, being at the above house, being intoxicated, during a sudden domestic conflict with the victim with whom he had previously been familiar, inflicted at least eight stabs to her in the area back and face. From injuries the woman died at the scene.

As a result of characterizing materials collected by the investigation with respect to the deceased woman, it was established that she led an asocial lifestyle, repeatedly drank alcoholic beverages, including in a company with a suspect.

The authorities add that the suspected murderer also “attacked a local resident who had been familiar to him, having stolen his property and money from him” earlier this month.

Grigoryeva’s contact information had been posted on a website encouraging Russians to hunt down and torture LGBTQ people as a “game” inspired by the Saw horror movie franchise. The site launched in 2018. After its launch, three men were reportedly violently attacked as a result.

Related: Russian authorities raid an LGBTQ center, detaining everyone inside

Russia blocked the website earlier this month, but police were criticized by local activists for not investigating the sites’ creators.

Another Russian LGBTQ activist, Zhenya Svetski, is in fear for his life as one of the people named on the site. He said he has received death threats and was given until July 20 to flee the country.