BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – Gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev has told Gay Star News (GSN) that he was attacked by three masked men just as he was about to board a train to Moscow.
Alexeyev says he was approaching a Kostroma train station when someone ran into his back with a bicycle. According to the report, his attackers said to "Fuck off to Europe, you faggot," one throwing an egg at him, while another punched him in his left ear. Alexeyev told GSN that his assailants didn't attack a fellow activist who was with him and said that he thinks the incident was an attempt to scare him.
Alexeyev said he had gone to Kostroma to attend a court hearing regarding a ban on a Pride event in the city. He has filed an application to appeal the ruling in regional court.
"I kept the fact that I was travelling to Kostroma strictly confidential; only the city authorities knew I was attending," Alexeyev told GSN. He said the fight to stage Pride in Kostroma will go on. He called his attackers "cowards" and said it was "useless to try and break my arms or legs."
Kostroma is among 10 regions and cities in Russia that have anti-gay gag laws in place. A federal bill aimed at banning so-called propaganda of homosexuality across Russia was overwhelmingly approved at first reading in January.