Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia was attacked, as he was about to board a train in Kostroma heading for Moscow, Russia.
Three skinheads dressed in black, wearing white masks that covered their faces, cycled right up to Alekseev, physically and verbally assaulting him, earlier today (5 June).
Alekseev recounted to Gay Star News, while recovering on his train journey: ‘I was about 100 meters from the train station when someone ran into my back with a bicycle.
‘At first I thought it was a simple mistake but then they started shouting – “Fuck off to Europe you faggot”.
‘Then one threw an egg at the back of my head, while another punched me at my left ear.
‘I still have pain in my left ear with a burning sensation.’
Alekseev was attending a court session in Kostroma about the legality of the city’s ban on a gay pride in the municipality.
The Kostroma district court ruled that the ban on gay pride this May was lawful, but Alekseev says he will be appealing to the regional court, to which he filed an application today.
‘I kept the fact that I was travelling to Kostroma strictly confidential, only the city authorities knew that I was attending.
‘It was interesting to note that the three men attacked me specifically but did not touch fellow LGBT rights activist Kirill Nepomnyaschiy, who was right next to me.
‘So I suspect this was orchestrated by the city’s mayor, whom after all I sued.
‘I think this is an attempt to scare me.
‘But I will apply to the general prosecution against him tomorrow.
‘He will not stop my fellow activists or me.
‘We will continue to apply for permit for a gay pride parade in Kostroma and pursue this matter in the courts.
‘As I said today in court we will continue until we win, until city authorities will have to allow it.
‘The attackers are cowards! And I think they suffered more than me. The one who attacked me fell from his bicycle!
‘I always say that I am made of iron and its useless to try and break my arms or legs
‘President Putin said yesterday that there’s no discrimination against LGBT people in Russia, I ask him: “is this the Russian version of equality?”
‘LGBT people are being attacked and sometimes killed.’
Veteran British LGBT rights advocate, Peter Tatchell, strongly condemned the attack and expressed his concern.
He told Gay Star News: ‘The assault on Nikolai is a disturbing development.
‘It seems very likely that the assailants were tipped off by state officials.
‘I witnessed something similar myself, when neo-Nazis turned up at a secret, unannounced LGBT rights protest in Moscow and violently attacked us.
‘I fear for Nikolai’s safety. He’s a very brave man. Dozens of Putin’s regime critics have been assassinated.’