Friday, August 26, 2016


Videotaped Bullying Of Gay Russian Youths Highlights Growing Homophobia

A screen shot from one of a series of homophobic videos posted on the Internet appears to show a young Russian gay man being forced to drink urine.
A screen shot from one of a series of homophobic videos posted on the Internet appears to show a young Russian gay man being forced to drink urine.
By Tom Balmforth
MOSCOW -- Some show youths being forced to drink urine, or having it poured over their heads. Others show young men being taunted with phallic sex toys, threatened with axes, and forced to carry wooden crucifixes.

These are just a few of the images contained in a series of shocking videos filmed by a nationalist gang in Kamensk-Uralsky, an industrial town of 175,000 inhabitants in Russia's Sverdlovsk Oblast near the Ural Mountains.

Some were shot after the group contacted their victims online and lured them into what they believed would be romantic liaisons with other young men -- in at least some cases with minors. Other victims were known homosexuals who were forcibly picked up off the street. 

The stated goal of the videos was to "cure" these young men of their homosexuality.

Rights activists say such footage is a sign that homophobia in Russia is not only becoming more prevalent, but also more aggressive. Campaigners blame this on a controversial new law outlawing so-called "homosexual propaganda" that was passed unanimously by the Russian State Duma and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin last month.

Nikolai Alekseyev, founder of Gay Pride Russia, believes the law sends the wrong signals to society and in the minds of some legitimizes violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.

"They have been given carte blanche for all their actions by these laws," he says. "They have received signals from the highest officials in the state -- the Duma, the president -- that basically you can do whatever you want if it concerns gay people because they are not first-class citizens; they are second-class or even third-class."

Indeed, groups like the one in Kamensk-Uralsky -- which belongs to a Russia-wide network operating under the banner "Occupy Pedophilia" -- have so far enjoyed almost total impunity for their treatment of homosexuals. None has been prosecuted and the group even appears to have tacit official support. Edited versions of the gang's videos have even been broadcast on a local television station

'Abhorrent Criminals'

As the name suggests, Occupy Pedophilia began months ago as a movement against pedophiles, luring purported or potential sex offenders online and then filming and shaming them. But the group has since expanded its focus and is now targeting young homosexuals. Members of the group say they see homosexuality and pedophilia as morally indistinguishable.

Occupy Pedophilia was founded by Maksim Martsinkevich, an ultranationalist who has served a three-year prison sentence for inciting ethnic hatred.

Martsinkevich, who sports a mohawk and often appears bare-chested in his videos, founded Occupy Pedophilia and encouraged his followers to pour urine over their victims' heads to "cure" them of homosexuality.

In an interview with Life News, a website widely believed to have ties to the Russian security services, Martsinkevich explained his objectives: "I hope that these broken lives – and they really do have broken lives – will be an example to the generation growing up that they shouldn’t behave like that,” he said.

But the group has run into some unexpected resistance -- both locally and internationally.

Valentin Degteryov is a 43-year-old teacher and former army medic. A resident of Nizhny Tagil, 235 kilometers north of Kamensk-Uralsky, he saw one of the videos on television and looked into the group's activities. He told RFE/RL that he was appalled by what he discovered.

"These are the most abhorrent criminals in the entire territory of the Russian Federation," he said. "They are the cruelest, most vicious, and out-of-control bandits I've come across."

Degteryov, who is heterosexual, said he sent 70 appeals to various local, regional, and federal officials -- including the local police, the governor's office, the State Duma, and the Interior Ministry -- but nobody took any action.

Degteryov has also passed information about Occupy Pedophilia's harassment of gays -- including photos and videos -- to the Washington D.C.-based group Spectrum Human Rights. The graphic images, which were posted on the popular website and elsewhere, have turned gay rights in Russia into a cause celebre in the United States. 

U.S. writer Dan Savage, founder of the It Gets Better campaign, which combats the bullying of gay teens, has called for a boycott of Russian vodka. Others have suggested a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. A protest is also planned outside the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on July 31.

As a result, Degteryov has now become a target himself. He says Occupy Pedophilia has made threatening phone calls, harassed his 72-year-old mother, and offered a large reward to anyone who beats him up.

Quiz: Famous Gay Russians

Gays and lesbians have a long history of contribution to Russian culture and society that might surprise backers of recent laws banning homosexual "propaganda" and otherwise curbing rights within the LGBT community.

Tom Balmforth

Tom Balmforth covers Russia and other former Soviet republics.


This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Mars from: Nebraska
August 01, 2013 09:40
Absolutely repulsive!!

by: Aghash from: Prague
August 01, 2013 11:05
Maksim Martsinkevich falls under a psychiatric characteristic and qualifies for a long-term treatment in isolation, albeit without a certainty of tangeable results. His behaviour exhibits all traits of a sadist with homoerotic inclinations. It is well possible that he was subjected to humiliating and violent treatment himself as a child or in jail and now he is stuck in a vicious cycle of reliving it by performing it on others, mostly weak and defensless people. His libido and broken ego feeds on the publicity and a an imminent circle of supporters, which are signs of a psychopatic perosnality along with his tendency of brutal verbal outbursts and incoherent rants. His deeds and video evidence he has produced are sufficient grounds for medical and law enforcement officials to act in the interest of public safety, not to mention the prevention of further moral corruption of children and youth his gang's activities and its publicity inflicts. Beside the incurable physical and moral damage he has inflicted on his victims, his activities amount to lynching of a particularly sadistic manner. The fact that people can be subjected to such treatment and have no resources or anyone to ensure that justice is done or others are protected speaks volumes of the desintegration of social coherence, nihilism and decadence of collective mentality in today's Russia.
In Response

by: Joel from: Canada
August 01, 2013 18:25
It is really surprising that more people do not notice the obvious homoerotic, BDSM, humiliation nature of these bizarre cruel videos. I went to the comments section to make this observation and saw that it had already been made. I really think that the fact that these people are basically making gay bdsm/humiliation porn and then trying to pretend they are trying to "cure" homosexuals needs to be publicized. I don't understand why it is not patently obvious to even the most casual observer. Perhaps people do but just don't want to talk about it.

by: Piotr Drukier from: London
August 01, 2013 11:23
Due to the incredible response from London's LGBT community we have been able to work with the MET Police and secure a more accessible and effective protest location at
We are right next to Downing street.
We have moved primarily to ensure we have the space to accommodate everyone safely.
The Embassy is located down a private road, which is not accessible to the public. At the best, we could have hoped to line the street along Bayswater road, and with the numbers we now have, we can not do this safely.
The nearest tube station is Westminster but it is also close to Embankment.Static protest and signing of register of protest:
Date: August 10, 2013
Location: Richmond Terrace, Westminster SW1A 2JL
Time: 1.00pm to 4.00pm

by: MAtthías from: iceland
August 01, 2013 14:38
what is happening to the world...
leave these confugesed kids alone ..;/ pooor kids drinking piss and getting a beating ...

feath in humanity lost....

by: Anonymous
August 01, 2013 18:19
Occupy Russia!!! Enough is enough.

by: Buzz from: chicago
August 01, 2013 18:36
When it makes the front page of the Chicago Tribune, it's clearly move from a "gay issue" to a national one.,0,1548370.story

by: Liam Lowenthal from: Colorado Springs
August 01, 2013 19:07
I won't forgive 'Murica for participating in Russia's Olympics. When I look at this, I feel very disgusted. They can't discriminate, in spirit of the game, but I know they will anyway. If foreigners and their own people aren't allowed to be gay, how exactly are they not going to deport every gay Olympian that'll walk into that country?

by: Steve Yuhas from: Los Angeles
August 01, 2013 22:00
This is why Edward Snowden went to Russia! It's known for freedom - the type he can't find here in the USA. Forget that the "journalist" he sent his stolen documents to (Glenn Greenwald lives in Rio with his gay husband who would be treated like this if he went to Russia). Russia is so oppressive that people are actually doing what they can to get out, but they can't because they don't have the resources since there is no such thing as a middle class there. I hope now that Snowden is running "free" in Russia for the next year that he invites his journalist buddy over for a chat - he'll either be disappeared or thrown into a gulag for being an enemy of the state for spreading his gayness.

by: David from: United States
August 01, 2013 22:57
This is really disgusting. The thugs doing these crimes against other human beings are ANIMALS. Moscow should show their citizens some compassion and not allow this kind of torture to take place, starting by admitting that homosexuals EXIST in the USSR and that they have rights just like the rest of their citizens. Someone is going to wind up getting hurt or killed with this madness taking place, and more to the point, a lot of LGBT youth are going to commit suicide as a result of the bullying. If I were a rich and powerful person I would do a lot more than write this message. Unfortunately, I am not.

by: Teva from: Sydney,Australia
August 02, 2013 00:15
And Russia is hosting the Winter Olympics next year...My God! the world we live in!.Step up IOC and CANCEL 2014 Winter Olympic Games..or move them elsewhere this sort of barbaric treatment of people is disgusting on every conceivable level.
Comments page of 2

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