News | Nikolai Alexeyev | Russia

Russia Raids Home of Leading Gay Activist Nikolai Alexeyev: VIDEO


Russian police have raided the home of Nikolai Alexeyev, a leading gay activist who has lately been taking some polarizing positions regarding response from the West to Russia's anti-gay laws.

Watch the Reuters report on the raid on Alexeyev's home, AFTER THE JUMP...

AlexeyevAlexeyev, whose efforts in Russia have been well-documented on Towleroad, recently wrote a lengthy essay for RT (the Kremlin-owned news organization that has defended Russia's anti-gay law and last week kicked off gay reporter James Kirchik after he protested the law on-air). In the essay, Alexeyev criticizes Queer Nation for promoting the views of Russian LGBT activists and "celebrities" living abroad who Alexeyev claims are hypocritical:

In the United States one LGBT group, Queer Nation, even drafted a list of "33 prominent Russian LGBT activists" who support the idea of the Olympics boycott, even though a few signatories already said they were duped. This was clearly done to persuade the world that such a tactic is the best way forward and is supported by the Russian LGBT community. The authors of this letter forgot to explain that most people on their list are Russians living abroad, are absolutely unknown in the LGBT movement in Russia, and never organized any campaigns or public events in Russia itself. The list is headed by journalist Masha Gessen, an American citizen who, being also a Russian national, is threatening to leave Russia for several months and claiming that the Russian authorities are taking children from their homosexual parents, which of course has nothing to do with reality.

Where was she or any other of those "prominent Russian LGBT activists" in 2009, for example, when we launched the campaign against the law in the Ryazan Region banning propaganda of homosexuality to minors? Where have they been since 2006 when this law was for the first time implemented in Russia? I searched hard, but found they were silent. At that time they did not consider gay propaganda bans as a horrific legislation. One of those Russian LGBT "celebrities", Vyacheslav Revin, compared activists of GayRussia.Ru and Moscow Pride, Irina Fedotova and Nikolay Bayev (both, surprisingly still living in "Middle Ages" Russia) who went to protest in front of children’s libraries and schools in Ryazan in March 2009, as no different from pedophiles.

Alexeyev claims people purporting to be LGBT activists are being granted asylum in the U.S. on fraudulent terms:

A week ago I received a message from one of my Facebook friends who lives in the US. He quoted me the letter he received from a Russian gay guy in Moscow preparing to leave Russia to ask for political asylum in the States. The plan is already being actively fulfilled. A fake police protocol as a sign of prosecution by the authorities is ready, the door of the flat is painted with the word "pidor" (faggot). Looks like this will be enough for him to get his asylum. A small bribe, a direct air ticket - that is all one needs to fulfill the dream. There is another such gay family which I heard about and who recently moved to San Francisco, not even bothering to collect any evidence of prosecution in Russia. They will surely be granted asylum, their cat included. Like the Russian mafia scam that organized fake asylum for straight people in the US a few years ago, we will soon see crowds of straight people - most of them homophobes - being granted asylum on gay grounds.

Alexeyev sees LGBT rights battles he has been fighting for in the Russian courts as being overshadowed by "eccentric" boycotts by Westerners:

Both verdicts, Alekseyev v Russia and Fedotova v Russia, will ultimately be implemented in Russia, because it recognized the jurisdiction of both instances. It will take time and we are continuing our fight for this final step in our battle. On top of that, we have three dozen other cases pending at the European Court, covering virtually all aspects of LGBT rights violations in Russia - widespread bans of public events, denials to register NGOs, including "Pride House Sochi" and "Marriage Equality", hate speech, gay propaganda bans and marriage rights. But prominent figures in the West think they have their own understanding of the situation in Russia and the way the LGBT movement should proceed.

They think the strategy of boycotts when dealing with Russia will work, like it sometimes works in their own countries. So, they want to export them. After all, it is an easy way forward, just gather the media and start to do something eccentric, like dumping vodka on the pavement. At the same time, I personally do not understand why a private company producing it has to bear the consequences of being held responsible for the policy of the Russian state?

Alexeyev also offers suggestions for moving forward - targeting politicians:

The international community would be much more effective if it listened to the activists on the ground, and brought to justice those who are directly involved in stirring up homophobic hysteria in Russia. For many years I have been calling for entrance visa bans for those Russian officials who are personally behind the implementation of gay propaganda laws. No one wanted to support an action that at first could be seen as administrative, because no leading organization will ever support an action on which they cannot earn their share of fame and future grants. Yes, it would have been very complicated for All Out to get signatures for a petition to deny visas to Russian politicians versus a petition to the International Olympic Committee. And proof is that the petition I launched with US activists to President Obama raised only 8,000 signatures against over 300,000 for the All Out petition to the IOC. But what have 300,000 signatures and one photo in front of the IOC Swiss headquarters changed? Nothing! The IOC has not moved one finger in our direction. They only swallowed the Russian official position on gay propaganda law, which will stay in force during the Olympics whatever is being said.

Now think, what would a visa ban for two of the most prominent Russian anti-gay politicians lead to. If you don't know, or if you are unsure, then step back and check the outcry the Magnitsky List has created in Russia among politicians, leading to serious consequences such as the adoption ban of Russian children by Americans. Yet it is easy to understand that you must hit the politicians where it will hurt them the most. Prevent MP Mizulina from entering Belgium and she will have to think why a country like Belgium, which legalized gay marriages and gay adoptions, and where her own son lives and works in a gay-friendly company, no longer wants her. These wounds will be nothing compared to the irreparable loss of gay teens who decided to commit suicide after being harassed by mentally disturbed skinheads whose anti-gay hatred was fueled by the same politicians.

Alexeyev also suggests that the European Court be lobbied.

Watch the Reuters report on the raid on Alexeyev's home, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Hunting for a scapegoat, by any chance? "Don't look at our fascist anti-gay law, look at this kook instead?"

    This is what the KGB has been reduced to? My how times change.

    Posted by: sundayboy | Aug 28, 2013 10:48:53 AM

  2. Is this an example of the interior decorating that skater Jeremy Abbott was blathering about?

    Posted by: homer | Aug 28, 2013 10:57:47 AM

  3. Looks like Putin has taken Hitler's game plan for scapegoating the Jews, turned it on his LGTB citizens, and sped it up about 100 times. Just a few days ago he went through the "confiscation of 'degenerate' art" phase.

    Posted by: Eric | Aug 28, 2013 11:05:45 AM

  4. This gentleman appears to be very mentally unstable. And nothing out of Russia would surprise me. Seems homosexuals have replaced [fill in the blank] for people to hate as a rallying point.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 28, 2013 11:10:29 AM

  5. This gentleman appears to be very mentally unstable. And nothing out of Russia would surprise me. Seems homosexuals have replaced [fill in the blank] for people to hate as a rallying point.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 28, 2013 11:10:37 AM

  6. This gentleman appears to be very mentally unstable. And nothing out of Russia would surprise me. Seems homosexuals have replaced [fill in the blank] for people to hate as a rallying point.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 28, 2013 11:10:39 AM

  7. Wasn't there a report some weeks ago that this guy had been abducted?

    Does Alexseyev acknowledge that he is held in very low regard by other Russian LGBT activists for his eccentrity and instability?

    And doesn't he live in Switzerland for a lot of the year?

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 28, 2013 11:27:41 AM

  8. So a anti-gay state-control news network allow a gay activist to publish his essay ? ..fishhhayyy.. !

    Posted by: AndyTowlette | Aug 28, 2013 11:37:08 AM

  9. It's sad to me if he's become as some of you claim "unstable" because he was doing a great job of highlighting the growing problems in Russia to the world in the past. If he's becoming unstable, we have to understand the enormous fear and pressure he's been under, and hasn't he suffered some beatings in the past? Maybe that, plus the fear that he'll likely be the first one round up when the inevitable arrests and tortures begin, has done something to him. He deserves our thanks and pity, not our scorn and judgement. If his house was raided, what do you think will happen next?

    Posted by: Graphicjack | Aug 28, 2013 11:56:01 AM

  10. It's ironic that he's been spewing against LGBT activists and the West, isolating himself from them, while cozying up to the status quo in Russia, only to have them turn the tables (literally) back on him. And, yes, he's shown himself, unfortunately, to be very mentally unstable, in need of drama that seems neither to help him or LGBT Russians.

    At least this is showing Russia's true colors and calling attention to that.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 28, 2013 11:58:04 AM

  11. From today's Moscow Times:

    "State Duma Deputies Yelena Mizulina, head of the Committee on Family, Women and Children, and Yelena Batalina told prosecutors in July that Alexeyev posted rude comments about them on Twitter related to the gay propaganda law, which they were leading advocates of.
    "If a criminal case is launched, we will ask to penalize [Alexeyev] with community service in places where he will be unable to carry out his gay propaganda — for example, in a coroner's van," Mizulina told Izvestia after requesting the investigation."

    Sounds like a death threat to me.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 28, 2013 12:06:13 PM

  12. Including "unstable," he's also proven to be rather anti-Semitic, despite flailing protestations otherwise.

    Posted by: MrRoboto | Aug 28, 2013 12:10:52 PM

  13. Okay, we get it, he doesn't want our help. No easy solutions in mother Russia.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 28, 2013 1:54:32 PM

  14. This is what his "working within the system" has brought him. Okay, you're on your own, buddy.

    Posted by: enough | Aug 28, 2013 2:09:53 PM

  15. Why do people always create these false dilemmas? There's plenty of people who want to be involved, enough to pursue a wide variety of actions that will all add up. From the petition number he cites there are at least hundreds of people ready to act, if not thousands. Compare that to the much smaller number of lawmakers and other establishment figures we're up against. It's not an either/or situation. There's enough people to try a lot of different angles.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 28, 2013 3:11:04 PM

  16. It's apparent, I think, that Nikolai Alexeyev has been "gotten to." He has no history of mental illness that I'm aware of. I'd say his social media accounts have been hacked or he has been threatened in some way to make him speak nonsense and insult Western activists who are putting together various protests.

    Posted by: Milton | Aug 30, 2013 10:12:19 PM

  17. I would also say that Towleroad may not be immune from Anti-LGBT people coming on here and attempting to manipulate people's opinions. That, or I'm surprised to find some people have wondered over from Fox News Blog maybe.

    Posted by: Milton | Aug 30, 2013 10:14:29 PM

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