Family Flees Russia After Commercial Exposes Their Pro-LGBT Lifestyle

Yuma (left), Alina (second from right) with her girlfriend Ksyusha, and Mila (far right)

A Russian family that has resettled in Spain says it was forced to flee their homeland after taking part in a commercial promoting a chain of grocery stores.

The family members were introduced in the advertisement as Yuma, her grown-up daughters Mila and Alina, and Alina's girlfriend Ksyusha.

The mother, Yuma, said the four started to receive death threats via telephone and social networks after the commercial was posted online.

On July 4, the VkusVill grocery chain removed the commercial from its website and Instagram page and offered apologies for what called "a mistake that exposed the unprofessionalism of some employees."

Yuma, who wanted to avoid using her last name, told RFE/RL on August 3 that her family is now in Barcelona, where they feel safe.

"Here there is no need to hide our happiness to be a family. We have not made a final decision yet if we will stay in Spain and for how long, if we will. But we do not plan to return to Russia in the foreseeable future," Yuma told RFE/RL.

VkusVill placed a series of advertisements under a "Recipes For Family Happiness" rubric on its website in late June, where Yuma's and other families were shown.

Yuma was described as a psychologist and LGBT activist with two daughters, one of whom planned to marry her girlfriend.

Yuma said in the advertisement that "family is not just blood kinship or a stamp in your passport."

"Family is people we love. Those who always can support and cover," Yuma said in the commercial.

It remains unclear where exactly in Russia the family lived.

Unknown individuals sent threats of violence to VkusVill and to the women.