Russian singer allegedly tortured and killed as part of Chechnya’s antigay pogrom

Russian singer Zelimkhan Bakaev was allegedly arrested and tortured to death by authorities in Chechnya due to “suspicions of homosexuality.”

He was last seen August 8th in Grozny, the Chechen capital, where he’d come from Moscow to attend his sister’s wedding. However, family members were unable to contact him and couldn’t obtain answers from authorities as to his whereabouts.

Following his disappearance, Igor Kochetkov, founder of the Russian LGBT Network, said “we received confirmation of our earlier presumption that Bakaev was detained by Chechen authorities due to suspicion of homosexuality.”

Related: Gay journalist who helped expose Chechnya atrocities now faces deportation

His Instagram account has also been deleted. A Twitter account in his name exists but hasn’t been updated recently.

Sources claim the 26-year-old performer “arrived in Grozny and was picked up by police within three hours.”

“Within ten hours he was murdered.”

Last week, Maxim Lapunov came forward to openly discuss his abuse at the hands of Chechen authorities. “The only charge they made was that I am gay,” he said. “I could hardly walk. I was sure they were going to kill me, I was prepared for that.”

Kocketkov claims several other men in the entertainment industry were tortured as authorities sought information on Bakayev.

Below, Bakaev is pictured with Head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.

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  • ChrisK

    It’s clear that this was an assassination ordered by Kadyrov. I’m kind of surprised he would take that risk since it seems they were already looking for him and of the concentration camps they were sending gay men too. Did he think he would be exempt I wonder?

    • Connor Mack

      Where is the Gay Black Ops team? I so greatly yearn to see these evil excuses for humans, Kadyrov and Putin, taken out summarily. I fantasize a covert team of Drag Commandos capturing, cross-dressing, and sashaying these evil men in front of the world. Then turning them loose in the anti-gay piranha-infested cess pool of Chechnya. But with Lord tRump in control here, it is more likely we will see them as part of the cabinet some day.

  • Kangol

    Just monstrous, but totally in keeping with Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay attitudes and the harsh anti-gay laws he’s pushed through since consolidating power. Create an oppressive context, support it with anti-gay law, and this kind of thing happens.

    • 1EqualityUSA

      I came home to this. Last week our biggest fear was something with huge lungs snorting in the forest. The dogs were on alert. This article is right up there. ChrisK is onto something; this guy was made silent.

  • Connor Mack

    Is it possible that killing Zelimkhan Bakaev was part of a cover-up for Kadyrov’s closeted homosexuality – as with Putin’s? It has been proven in other Islamic regions that many “honor” killings are to cover up the sexual assault of relatives or others. The same likely goes for homosexual hook-ups by prominent “Islamic” leaders – kill the evidence. Maybe we need a gay Mata Hari or two.

    • 1EqualityUSA

      Yes, plausible and with rationale befitting such a secretive society. woof. Snorting lungs in the forest.

  • Prax07

    Been reading this story from several different sources the past few days, and it’s so sad and disturbing it makes me ill. How the people of these countries blindly follow their monstrous leaders is just unfathomable to me. They’re monsters as well for going along and doing nothing to stop it.

    • thomas prentice

      How do the US people blindly follow THEIR monstrous leaders … all since Reagan?

  • Prax07

    Screw sashaying these monsters around as humiliation. The only cure for their type of evil is a well funded commando team with some crack snipers, and plenty of bullets. Or just wipe these evil empires off the map all together and be done with it, civilian casualties be damned.

    • Texasholdem

      You realize there will be LGBT people in those civilian causalities too.

  • judysdad

    Meanwhile, organizations like HRC are consumed with making sure trans individuals (most of whom keep their distance from the LGB community and aren’t even gay-identified) are able to pee in the bathroom of their choice.

    • Kangol

      Are you seriously posting on a thread about anti-gay/LGBTQ violence to trash the HRC (which is a domestic US organization) and trans people (who DO identify by gender–transgender is the full term)? Are you contributing to IGLHRC (International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Campaign), which is working overtime to help LGBTQ people across the globe? Or to other organizations that are doing everything they can to address the plight of LGBTQ in Chechnya and elsewhere? Transphobia from gay men is just as repugnant as it is from straight people, maybe even worse because you’re kicking down instead of addressing the real oppressors.

    • chris_clb614

      Here’s the thing, the issue started because of non-discrimination ordinances in Houston, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina that included gender identity. Opponents of them found a way to make them more of an issue than it needed to be, hence the false narrative specifically involving men dressing up as women to commit crimes in women’s restrooms.

    • dwes09

      Learn how to actually think and you will not be quite the regressive tool!
      I pity Judy, hopefully it is the name of the dog as they cannot be so easily warped in their ethics as a child can.

  • mhoffman953

    This is what happens in predominantly Islamic regions

    • ChrisK

      Yeah, but his pal and master aka Putin comes from a Christian region.

  • Bopper1

    …religion IS the Great Satan…

  • Prax07

    @texasholdem Yes, I know. Innocent civilians always get hurt in the crossfire, but I look at it as these monsters are torturing and murdering these people anyway, and will for however many future generations are to come unless they’re stopped once and for all. Wipe out the entire country, because the only Innocents there are already on the chopping block. The only people there worth saving are the ones actively hunted, beaten, and killed. Since most can’t be rescued, do the world a greater good and eliminate the Entire country. Turn it into one big radioactive crater and use it as an example for other world “leaders”. Treat your people with respect and equality, stop killing your own people, or face the consequences. That to put an end to Monsters you sometimes have to do something equally as monsterous.

    • Xzamilloh

      Oh, yeah, that’s not gonna have any long lasting consequences or create even more enemies in the world. Yeah, we shouldn’t attempt to provide asylum to those being actively hunted or killed… just nuke them because that would be the morally wholesome thing to do. That’s real nice scenario in lala land, but for those of us who live in reality, it’s easier said than done to make Chechnya its own country wide Chernobyl

  • Ummmm Yeah

    And still you won’t put the blame where it really belongs. Muslims did this but you like all the western media won’t include the words islam or muslims in the reports of these murders.

    • Ander

      Putin isn’t Muslim, and he is to blame as well. Chechnya is under his control. This is cultural issue, as much as, or more than, a religious one. Let’s not seek out the convenient villain here and ignore the other bad actors.

    • ChrisK

      I hear you but in this case there’s not much difference between the Russian Orthodox Christianity and the Muslim side. Both of the actors will use it to further their power. Both sides need a scapegoat as they always do.

    • Ummmm Yeah

      If that’s so true then why are all the concentration camps and deaths at muslim hands? Putin might be able to stop it but he isn’t the one that started it or the one that’s carry it out. And Putin isn’t in control off all the middle eastern countries that kill gays. Muslims are.

    • Xzamilloh

      Both sides have a point, although I will say the ones trying to compare the two religions have a better point. Putin indirectly condones these practices with his tacit denial of them taking place, and yes Chechnya is a majority Muslim country — and WHITE Muslims, which also gets ignored — but as we can see with Russia and with Africa, Abrahamic religions like Christianity and Islam left unchecked to rule and dictate morality give way to atrocities such as this. But, let’s not pretend that Islamic countries by far and wide pose the biggest threat to LGBT people.

      It never ceases to amaze me the cognitive dissonance with liberals and conservatives, with liberals defending an illiberal religion, and conservatives condemning a heavily conservative faith that is a hop and a skip away from the world they themselves want here.

    • DCguy

      Awwww, how adorable, the anti-lgbt troll account wants to pretend that right wing Christians aren’t trying to harm us over here.

      Nice try troll.

  • DCguy

    Most likely the Chechyn Leader hit on the guy and then killed him to cover it up. That guy screams self hating closet case.

    • ChrisK

      There’s allot more to this story is all I can say. What was he doing with that psychopath and why did the psychopath want to catch him so bad?

    • ChrisK

      This should be front page news in Russia. A foreign government kidnapped and killed a Russian Pop Star. I’m afraid it won’t though.

    • Ummmm Yeah

      No mostly likely these are the typical murderous muslim barbarians and only a self loather or mulsim excuse maker would need to claim they are gay.

    • DCguy

      Hey Ummmm Yeah,

      You mean the leader who is Putin’s boy? Who is using the current anti-gay laws in Russia to justify these actions?

      Interesting that you fear calling out Putin so much. Hmmm, does he fund whatever bot farm you’re coming out of?

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