THE GREAT ESCAPE

Young Immigrant Filmmaker Recalls Bashings in Russia, Being Left “Lying In Blood”

Russian filmmaker Alexander Kargaltsev didn’t just come to America to make movies—he was fleeing persecution in his homeland for being gay.

It was at a Moscow Pride rally in 2010, when military police attacked him with batons and Tasers, that Kargaltsev, 27, knew it was time to get the hell out of Dodge. “They left us lying in blood in the street,” he tells the New York Daily News.

Kargaltsev (right), who graduated from the New York Film Academy and works at Sothebys, also recalled earlier attacks. Like the time he went to meet someone from an online dating site and was beset by bashers, who posted a fake profile just to trap him.  But he says things are getting worse there now, and after the passing of the “gay propaganda” ban in Saint Petersburg, we can’t argue with him.

Neither, apparently, can LGBT asylum groups like Immigration Equality, which says in the past year it’s helped more gay and lesbians from Russia than from anywhere in the world besides Jamaica. “We’re seeing a rise in cases from Eastern European countries,” IE legal director Victoria Neilson tells the Daily News. “Things are definitely bad in Russia. It’s a country where the public at large is very homophobic and the government does nothing to protect people.”

Photos via Facebook