A leading Russian gay activist has announced he will run against a prominent antigay politician for a seat in St. Petersburg's legislative assembly.
Nikolai Alekseyev said in an Instagram post on January 20 that he has decided to run for the seat currently held by Vitaly Milonov in the 2016 election.
Milonov is one of the most outspoken antigay activists in Russia.
He is also the author of controversial legislation that bans the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" among minors, a version of which was adopted in St. Petersburg before it became a national law in 2013.
Alekseyev said in his statement that he hopes to "once and for all release" the people of St. Petersburg from Milonov by defeating him in the election.
Alekseyev won a case at the European Court on Human Rights for the government's banning of Moscow gay pride parades from 2006 to 2008.
Based on reporting by Lenta.ru and Instagram