Several gay rights activists have been detained by police in St. Petersburg while trying to hold demonstrations on a Russian military holiday.
Police detained Yury Gavrikov, leader of an LGBT rights group, as he left his home to stage a one-man picket on August 2 in front of the Hermitage Museum on Paratroopers Day, when Russian airborne-forces veterans traditionally roam through public parks in their signature berets and striped T-shirts.
Police accused Gavrikov of cursing in public, a charge he denied. He was held at a police station while awaiting a court hearing.
Veterans of Russia's airborne forces confronted several other LGBT activists staging individual pickets near the museum, tearing up their posters and pulling rainbow-colored flags from their hands.
The activists were quickly taken away by police.
Russia has faced harsh criticism for its record on gay rights, including a vaguely worded law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors.