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Man Beaten to Death in Russia After Acquaintances Learn He is Gay

A gay man has been beaten to death in Russia, Reuters reports:

VolgogradThe body of a 23-year-old man was found in the courtyard of an apartment building in the southern city of Volgograd early on Friday with multiple wounds including in the genital area, the federal Investigative Committee said on Saturday. It said a 22-year-old acquaintance of the victim and a 27-year-old ex-convict had been detained on suspicion of murder.

A investigator in Volgograd, Andrei Gapchenko, told Ekho Moskvy radio that the suspects said they had been drinking with the victim and began beating him after he told them he was gay.

It is rare for law enforcement authorities in Russia to specify suspicions that homophobia was the motive in an attack, and activists say many attacks against gays are not treated or described as such by the police.

Radio Free Europe adds:

The two men...allegedly beat him, sodomized him with a beer bottle, and smashed in his skull with a stone.

Articles in Russian media herehere and here.

Killing in Russia adds to concerns over treatment of gays [reuters]

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  1. May he rest in peace.
    I'm surprised to see such wide spread ignorance in Russia. The Russian Government fuels these criminal incidents and I just cannot understand why?

    Posted by: Jay | May 11, 2013 7:30:05 PM

  2. The why is easy. When you have some arbitrary and unprovable trait for which anyone can be dehumanized, you have an extremely powerful political tool.

    Posted by: nick | May 11, 2013 8:01:26 PM

  3. We are SO lucky not to live in Russia. Thats heinous.

    Posted by: Tom | May 11, 2013 8:25:34 PM

  4. Sadly the disturbing trend of homophobia in Russia is sharply on the rise. Extremism and scapegoating always comes to Russia every now and then, but I don't believe it has ever been this bad in my lifetime. My family lived in Russia till the revolution. Like many upperclass families at that time they were targeted, had to flee, and lost everything. Granted, my family was made up of (and still is) staunch Royalists, but still. Then look what happened, decades of Stalins brutal rule. I'm so fearful of the road Russia is going down. Family that has returned to Russia has told me that many are trying to negate the protests against Putin by claiming that the protestors are all "homosexuals and foreign agents". Reminds me of what the Germans claimed about the Jews. Here's hoping that the economy will recover and the homophobia will decline. If not, I wish Russian lgbts the best and hope that the world will act if something huge happens. My 99 year old great grandmother was born in Russia, her father was murdered by the communists, and just the other day she told me "never underestimate what evil Russia is capable of".

    Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2013 8:40:33 PM

  5. @Nick
    Well said.

    Our brothers and sisters in a lot of places in the world have it worse than us.
    Iran, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Russia, Singapore, Jamaica.
    Last I remember there were over 70 countries worldwide where being LGBT was illegal. There are a few that have penalties up to and including death.

    Posted by: JONES | May 11, 2013 8:41:51 PM

  6. The saddest part this happened on a Victory Day. A day when Russia celebrates it's victory over nazis. Ironic isn't it?

    Posted by: litper | May 11, 2013 8:44:23 PM

  7. Especially in Volgograd (Stalingrad), the city which was literally destroyed by nazi army

    Posted by: litper | May 11, 2013 8:46:36 PM

  8. this caused putin being good old party man he is he knows how to keep people's minds busy . make them hate someone more than the government

    Posted by: walter | May 11, 2013 9:28:44 PM

  9. The Reuters report doesn't get all the gory details:

    The thugs beat him because their "patriotic feelings" were offended on Victory Day because of his sexual orientation and his "provocative behavior."

    They not only beat him, they inserted THREE beer bottles in his anus and smashed his head with a cobblestone until he was unrecognizable, after having tried to burn him.

    Too reminiscent of Matthew Shepard & James Byrd, etc.

    Posted by: KevinVT | May 11, 2013 9:34:33 PM

  10. Its very much like Matthew Sheppard. I hope our Russian brothers and sisters RISE UP over this disgusting horror that happened to him. May he not die in vain.

    Posted by: Jeff | May 11, 2013 9:50:34 PM

  11. This is happening every day in Russia and is a direct result of evil "President" (the elections were not free) Putin and his extreme anti gay laws.

    If you can get your people to attack each other like this then they don't attack you and you can stay in power. Margaret Thatcher did the same thing in the UK.

    Unfortunately the majority of people are stupid and don't see they are being used.

    Posted by: Icebloo | May 11, 2013 10:37:32 PM

  12. Many Russian men are so beautiful. It is sad that this situation exists, but I believe part of the reason is that Russia must be contrary to the West in a very violent way. Here homosexuality is so visible, and gays are fighting for their rights. We must acknowledge that this type of hate against gays also exists in the United States. It's not going anywhere-- even as each state votes in favor of gay marriage. I think we are blind to it, as it appears gay acceptance is now a given. -- witness our popularity as NBC cancels a gay themed TV show after one season. Gay acceptance among some is nonexistent.

    Posted by: GB | May 11, 2013 10:52:09 PM

  13. Russian LGBT's are doing everything they can, but they can only do so much. They're outnumbered and overpowered. They need help and that help will only come through attention and shame of Russia from foreign media and exposing the wicked anti-gay hatred of the country and of Putin.

    Unfortunately, unlike other foreign crises, homophobic crises worldwide tend to be mostly ignored by mainstream media. Well, hate crimes in general against LGBT folk tend to be either a) ignored or b) not processed as a hate crime even though it is. That's one major reason why globally LGBT people are far and away the most at risk in being targeted in acts of hate. Because attackers more or less know they'll get away with it. Luckily that hasn't happened here. Hopefully the two savages die in prison.

    RIP to the dead young gay man, such a sad story.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 11, 2013 10:59:26 PM

  14. The canceling of a mediocre, low-rated American TV show and the brutal slaughter of a gay man are in no way comparable.

    The Russians I know are tolerant and intelligent, but the country is led by nationalist and Orthodox thugs. And Russia's LGBT citizens do not have a justice system to turn to.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 11, 2013 11:06:59 PM

  15. Well if there is one person Putin pays attention to is President Obama. I sincerely hope when White House will call for President Putin to stand to violence against gays.

    Posted by: Jay | May 11, 2013 11:07:14 PM

  16. Ernie: It's a cultural barometer. Americans don't want TV shows about gays getting married and having babies. What you can't acknowledge is the brutality that lies just under the surface of many Americans regarding homosexuals. The Russians don't have a market on it. Watch.

    Posted by: GB | May 11, 2013 11:39:00 PM

  17. Sad. Sad. Sad. Look no further than the Russian Orthodox Church. Its power restored after the fall of Communism, it has lost no time in reestablishing its pre-Soviet dominance. It was a force for reaction during the Tsarist era and so it is now.

    Posted by: jamal49 | May 11, 2013 11:48:58 PM

  18. Witness the bashings in NYC. For all of our equality, we certainly got a lot of exposure. Was that the goal? It was safer in the 20th century, but we couldn't get married. Boo hoo.. Have fun with that--sitting ducks.

    Posted by: Ed | May 12, 2013 12:58:13 AM

  19. Thank goodness, I was not born in the homophobic country

    Posted by: tr2236 | May 12, 2013 12:58:32 AM

  20. I wish we could trade those innocent Russians with USA bible thumpers

    Posted by: tr2236 | May 12, 2013 1:00:18 AM

  21. @GB: NBC canceled Up All Night, Guys With Kids, Whitney, Animal Practice, Next Caller, 1600 Penn and Deception in addition to The New Normal. The network is a disaster and has been for years, it's NBC Americans don't want on their TVs.. not gay people. Stop being ridiculous.

    Posted by: JMC | May 12, 2013 7:47:39 AM

  22. The Russians didn't really win a victory when the Nazis were beaten, they were still under the brutal control of the communist. Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe will take a long time to catch up to western Europe, because of the many years and generations of extremist leftist and rightist governments. The country's psyche is badly damaged. Even 23 years after the fall of the communist USSR, with new generations who have no personal living memory of it, Russians and Russia are still dealing with PTSD.

    Let the way Russia, other eastern European countries, China, N. Korea, Cuba, etc. be a warning to those people who would like to see a totalitarian system like communism or fascism take hold of their country.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 12, 2013 8:48:32 AM

  23. Since you put it that way @GB/Ed/Josh etc the cultural situation for gay people in Russia and the US is exactly the same. The untimely demise of The New Normal spells doom for American gays; back to the closet now, boys! (eye roll)

    Posted by: Ernie | May 12, 2013 8:53:44 AM

  24. @Jamal49,

    Countries like Russia or many Latin American countries are the way they are because they historically have had primarily extremist governments and ideologies running their countries. They go from far left Marxist communist to far right totalitarian fascism, then back again. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. They can't seem to grasp the concept of a stable, centralist, middle of the road ideology and government. This is in large part due to the gigantic wealth gap, huge level of genuine poverty, small middle class, tiny uber wealthy and powerful elite ruling class.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 12, 2013 8:56:29 AM

  25. There is NO COMPARISON between the situation Russian gays have to deal with vs American. NONE! Americans [and Canadians, Australians, western Europeans, certain parts of South America] live in a paradise compared to most gay people on Earth.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 12, 2013 8:59:18 AM

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