The ex-manager of a popular Moscow gay club that has come under attack on a number of occasions has told The Washington Blade that he intends to seek asylum in the United States because he fears for his life.
Following its report about shots fired during a Nov 16 attack on Central Station, Queer Russia reported that the club was subject to another attack Nov 23, with the release of an unspecified "harmful gas" on the premises when approximately 500 people were inside.
According to The Blade, Arkady Gyngazov, who arrived in Washington, DC, last month and already has a lawyer, will pursue his bid for asylum once his visa expires later in the year.
Gyngazov says that he never believed Russian lawmakers would pass the so-called gay propaganda bill and that President Vladimir Putin is creating a "Soviet Union two."
In a September 2013 interview with The Huffington Post, Moscow-born journalist and activist Masha Gessen said that despite her initial hopes, outside condemnation of Russia's anti-gay policies is not changing anything inside the country, and the time had come for LGBT people to seek asylum abroad.
In the last few weeks, Russian authorities have released members of the Pussy Riot band, businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Greenpeace activists in what many observers see as a bid by Putin to offset ongoing criticism about the country's deteriorating civil liberties ahead of the Sochi Olympics, which start in February.