A regularly held social event that takes place at the St Petersburg offices of an HIV-support organization was attacked by two people, one wielding a pneumatic gun while the other wielded a baseball bat, a statement issued by LaSky-St Petersburg says.
Two people were injured in the attack that took place on the evening of Nov 3. One man was shot in the face and has a bullet lodged in his eye, while a woman was hit with the baseball bat.
LaSky-St Petersburg, which provides STD education and prevention services for men who have sex with men (MSM), says it's not the first time that the organization has been targeted by anti-gay groups who post threatening messages on social media sites.
Members of the organization, who say that a number of posts calling for "actions" against LaSky were posted on the social networking site VK about a month ago, argue that the Sunday attack comes as a result of the increasingly hostile climate that LGBT people face in the city.
"This attack aimed at the office of organization for prevention of HIV and STD is an indication that pogrom-makers progressed from attacking activists during street rallies to attacks on closed private social events. Human rights defenders of the city are following this incident with an intense attention and will press for just and fair investigation of this homophobic hate crime," LaSky says.
"Those who foster the feelings of hatred on the ground of sexual orientation or gender identity, including politicians and religious leaders, must be accounted for it."