Last week, Towleroad was one of the many news outlets to report on anti-gay hate crimes being committed by homophobes throughout Russia. The story, which came via Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, told of the recent trend among homophobic extremists to lure gay men on social media into a potential sexual encounter, only to ambush and confront the men later on. According to the report, much of this fiercely anti-gay sentiment is growing via various "Occupy" movements gaining momentum on the social networking site VK.com. Recently, Towleroad was sent the link to one such page, which contains a vast amount of disturbing messages, photos, and videos, painting a very unfortunate picture of the hostile climate faced by LGBT people across Russia.
The page belongs to an individual called Misha Krasnov, who, according to the profile, currently lives in the city of Kamensk. Krasnov's profile contains several posts in support of the group Occupy-Pedofilyay Kamensk-Ural, just one of the many groups perpetrating acts of entrapment, assault, and battery against gay men and teens. Many of these posts are videos similar to the one we circulated last week, in which extremists lure their victim online before harassing them in person and recording it on video. One trend that seems to be emerging, based on the videos and photos, appears to be the use of both sex toys and urine in these attacks in addition to physical violence.
Perhaps even more disturbing are the video posts in which Krasnov is shown testing out various weapons. One such video appears to be a tutorial on how to conceal various bladed weapons inside his outfit, while another depicts him using a mace and swords in a self-proclaimed "test". While Krasnov does not use his weapons against anyone on video, they nevertheless cultivate the mindset that said videos are intended to be practice for actual attacks.
One other pattern that seems to emerge in his posts is the recurrence of a bent "thumbs up" symbol, similar to the thumb icon commonly used on Facebook. Another photo, one that was used earlier by this site and others, shows two attackers mimicking the gesture, one of whom appears to be Krasnov. It is not yet known if the symbol is being used to represent the entire movement, or simply one specific group. The group page for Occupy Kamensk is currently shut down due to a violation in the sites "terms of service".
Those wishing to view Misha Krasnov's page on VK.com can follow the link HERE. Be advised that the page contains many hateful messages, as well as graphic and violent content. Meanwhile, Towleroad will continue to give updates on the events taking place in Russia as they develop.