LGBT news feed Queer Russia says no one was injured in the latest attack on a popular gay club in Moscow in which two men, who reportedly remain at large, fired handguns after they were denied entry.
According to the report, the men, who were harassing Central Station patrons in the early hours of Nov 16, fired a round of bullets that damaged the front door. Footage of the comings and goings outside the club has been sent to police, BuzzFeed reports.
Queer Russia says Central Station's managers have approached the police and other city authorities on several occasions to complain about the regular attacks on the club, but it's unclear whether any preventive action has been taken.
This latest incident adds fuel to claims that violence and other forms of harassment against LGBT people in Russia have increased in the wake of the passage of a number of anti-gay laws, including a nationwide "gay propaganda" law that came into effect after President Vladimir Putin signed off on it in June.
A network of groups reportedly operating under the rubric Occupy Pedophilia has been cited as being behind attempts to lure gay people, or people perceived to be gay, online, after which they are recorded performing humiliating acts and are sometimes subjected to threats and violence.
Still, Putin and a number of politicians, including St Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, who authored his city's "gay propaganda" law, have dismissed the concerns of an outraged global community, saying there is no discrimination against LGBT people in Russia.
Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who earlier in the year told the world to "calm down" about the federal anti-gay gag law, recently suggested that it's the timing of the legislation's passage, in the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Games, not its content, that has driven the controversy, Pink News reports.
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Commitee (IOC), which has come under fire for accepting the assurances of Russian authorities that spectators and athletes will face no discrimination at the Games, has now said it will not go after a Russian state TV station for broadcasting a program, featuring the Olympic logo, that suggests the Russian state is under threat from LGBT activism.
BuzzFeed notes that, historically, the IOC has guarded its brand and associated symbols but does not seem to be adopting the same level of scrutiny in this case.