Russian Gay Rights Activist Feared Abducted Or Insane After Bizarre Facebook Posts

Nikolai-underarrest2
Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev is thought to have either been abducted or to have gone crazy after a series of troubling status updates appeared on his Facebook wall this past weekend. Though his Facebook profile has since been taken down, furthering the suspicion that it had been hacked, Queerty has screenshots of some of his more bizarre posts and include him accusing Russian gays seeking "fake asylum", accusing friends of being pedophiles, and hating the West for being on par with Putin. Even more disturbing, So So Gay reports that photos of Alekseev in his underwear in a bunker were posted to his account before it was taken down under the album title "Kidnapping" with a status update referencing a "porno contract."

Activist and blogger Melanie Nathan is highly skeptical of the situation, and in a lengthy post compares his prior behaviors with the present situation. In the past, she has seen Alekseev become "unhinged" when people disagreed with his definitions of asylum and oppression, and that he holds the stance that gays should not leave Russia to flee their persecution. More damning is that the last time he was allegedly "kidnapped" he was in fact on vacation with his wealthy Swiss boyfriend, and anecdotal encounters with him in the U.S. have established that "unhinged" is his default setting.

This is a developing story, but regardless of the outcome, this is a setback for gay rights activism in Russia.

Comments

  1. tcw says

    Didn’t SCOTT LONG get fired from Human Rights Watch for similarly defaming fellow gay activists as pedophiles?

    Can’t make this gay activist drama up!

  2. joeyhegele says

    “This is a developing story, but regardless of the outcome, this is a setback for gay rights activism in Russia.”

    At this point, LGBT activism in Russia has moved beyond poor Nikolai Alekseev. The whole (hetero) world is now aware of Russia’s homo/trans-phobia. Hacking or harming Alekseev is not going to set anything back. I certainly hope Alekseev is not in any danger, but only out of concern for him…not because of how it might hurt the fight for LGBT rights in Russia.

  3. Brian1 says

    He’s still going strong on twitter. Based on the tweets, it doesn’t seem like he’s been kidnapped/hacked etc, or it’s a very sophisticated hacker. His tweets are mostly making fun of western media making a big deal about taking down his facebook page and saying he’s crazy. And he keeps asking for a face to face interview with the BBC or others, which I wouldn’t think a kidnapper would be tweeting about.

  4. Paul R says

    He looks like he could be a bit nutty, but odder still is the guy on the right side of that picture. Looks like a cold war-era cartoon character/caricature.

  5. says

    It’s much more likely that the crazy Facebook posts and photos are his work, not a hacker’s, since the erratic behavior, spite, and desperate need for attention are quite in character. It’s unfortunate that his mental issues distract him from the worthy work he’s done and could be doing, and it’s unfortunate that his self-destructive antics are a distraction from the very real dramas happening to LGBT Russians.

  6. Pookie says

    I don’t doubt he’s a bit “unhinged”; many of the more intelligent gay people I’ve known throughout the course of my life could easily be described as such.

    The pressures of being gay and living in Russia would be enough to “unhinge” most people, I think everybody needs to relax and do the right thing – which would be to try and reserve judgement and unhelpful comments, and offer him our support, as that’s the only thing that really helps people that need it.

  7. BG says

    People don’t develop mental illness out of thin air. It has to already be there to be activated, and I imagine the Russians would know how to do that. To them bizarre torture is recreational. Some Russian boys are the sexiest I’ve seen. What a waste.

  8. kirkyo says

    Thank you for covering this. We are “friends” on Facebook and the posts have been disturbing to say the least and don’t seem like him at all. The account has been quiet today.

  9. kirkyo says

    Also, there was some contention over the handling of the Olympics (i.e. pride parade vs. boycott) but nothing before two days ago hinted at any mental instability. This is probably two years worth of Facebook posts.

  10. says

    @TCW I think you’re confusing the facts about Scott Long. He had a disagreement with Tatchell and other activists over the sensationalized Iranian cases back in 2005 or 2006, suggesting that the charges of pedophilia against those killed might have been true and that there was little evidence that they were gay.

    Some activists, Alekseev among them, have a knee-jerk reaction to sue. Some of these suits have basically shut down some academic discussions and silenced activists, which is sad.

    Long’s work, which I have followed since the 90s, has been extremely well-researched and complex. He has not engaged in vendettas, but tried to correct some oversimplifications of others. Yet some people have clearly conducted smear campaigns against him.

    That now includes Alekseev.

  11. says

    @KIRKYO, maybe you haven’t followed his Facebook posts very carefully then, or–more specifically–the comments beneath them, where he regularly goes off on anyone who challenges him in the slightest, then purges his friends, then rails again, repeat repeat. (He’s been tweeting away today, so he’s still active there.) My husband, who is tied closely to Russia and therefore follows Nikolai closely, has seen this drama for quite a while now. The shame is that when he’s mentally stable, he’s smart and articulate and offers an important POV. Also, his life is quite different than the lives of most LGBT Russians, in that he is frequently traveling and living abroad, a luxury others don’t have.

  12. says

    I had befriended him on FB sometime ago but after a few weeks removed it. He was clearly unhinged then. Most of his posts seemed to be about how much he hates Americans and America. I found it odd and decided I didn’t need his type of crazy, so I removed the friend request and have avoided anything he says because of it.

  13. says

    TO BE FAIR: I do NOT like this guy, and I think a lot of the people here agree with me. However, liked or not, this man is a goddamn hero, if not now he will be soon. He is fighting a crazy, massive opponent and despite how annoying he is, I am rooting for him.

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