News | Pavel Lebedev | Rainbow Flag | Russia | Sochi Olympics

Russian LGBT Activist Arrested After Unfurling Rainbow Flag at Olympic Torch Relay: PHOTOS


According to a post by Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality on the Russian social network VK, a protester was arrested in the Russian town of Voronezh as the Olympic torchbearer made his way through the city.

According to the report, police arrested Pavel Lebedev, who ran into the road with a rainbow flag. Lebedev was taken to the police station "to clarify the circumstances of the incident."

Buzzfeed spoke with Anastasia Smirnova, a spokeswoman for a coalition of LGBT activist groups, who said that Lebedev, a longtime activist against Russia's anti-gay law who attempted to marry in St. Petersburg last June, may be fined for "violating public order".

More photos of the incident, AFTER THE JUMP...








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  1. In better news, also arrested was this guy:

    Posted by: KevinVt | Jan 18, 2014 12:19:56 PM

  2. These are the people I admire immensely - the ones who confront their repressive governments, wherever in the world they are, thus risking physical attack, arrest, imprisonment, and even death.

    Posted by: john patrick | Jan 18, 2014 12:36:14 PM

  3. @Kevinvt: That is WONDERFUL news! That man belongs in a cage. Fantastic!

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 18, 2014 12:39:32 PM

  4. I pray that something good comes of all this. The world can not stand by silently as rights are systematically taken away (i.e. Hitler).

    Posted by: JAMES B. | Jan 18, 2014 12:56:10 PM

  5. For displaying a flag??? Unbelievable. This is going to get way worse before it gets any better.

    KEVINVT, John, really?

    Posted by: Will G. | Jan 18, 2014 1:11:51 PM

  6. This incident is fascism as reality. The far right in this country (the U.S.) is having a wet dream over what is happening in Russia because the far right here are, at core, fascists, too.

    This is terrible and tragic and also hopefully might even help regular Americans that they are insulting themselves to brandish a "conservative" label onto themselves.

    Shame on Putin. I think the only reason we as a country haven't stood up to him more is because he has nukes. Sad, but also real dangers. Such is real-life fascism. Shame in the Russian people who are NOT standing up to this brutality.

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Jan 18, 2014 1:18:30 PM

  7. Meanwhile everyone in the US sits on their ass.

    Posted by: Tigernan | Jan 18, 2014 1:31:21 PM

  8. rasputin said if people left the children alone gays wouldn't be bothered don't see a bunch of kids in the picture

    Posted by: walter | Jan 18, 2014 2:24:06 PM

  9. We have seen all this fascism before; the aggression, the discrimination, the isolation from mainstream society.....all straight out of the Thirties Playbook.

    I admire each and every protester against the Fascist Putin -- I hope there will be thousands of protesters among the athletes and the attendees.
    Europe and the USA need to be heard now, before the gays of Russia are made to wear identifying badges.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 18, 2014 2:28:47 PM

  10. One of Putin's problems is that his homophobic Russia is not in the Middle East or Africa ,but in Europe. His Russia is therefore being held to today's higher European standards of justice and equality.

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 18, 2014 5:12:27 PM

  11. So waving a flag is propaganda? This is a great example of how broad and unfair the current Russian law is.

    Posted by: John Freeman | Jan 18, 2014 6:26:00 PM

  12. Maybe instead of a rainbow flag, they should use pictures of a shirtless Putin. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the new symbol to "promote" homosexuality was this bastards picture? Either that or maybe instead of promoting homosexuality, they should be protesting hetrosexual hypocrisy.

    Posted by: Armando | Jan 18, 2014 10:32:22 PM

  13. At least they can't arrest a tunnel:

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 20, 2014 2:46:11 AM

  14. @Nick: He'll be extradited -- negotiations are already under way -- given a slap on the wrist, and set free.

    Posted by: Hunter | Jan 20, 2014 7:33:44 AM

  15. Don't miss the touching response of a chaste man who experiences same sex attraction to the anti-Russian Rainbow Push at the Olympics. Sometimes we forget there are men who are "gay," but don't self-identify by their sexuality and want to live chaste lives anchored in Jesus Christ. They have a totally different view of current events.

    Posted by: Christ's Faithful Witness | Feb 13, 2014 7:27:15 PM

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