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Russia: Protester with rainbow flag detained during Olympic torch relay

Pavel Lebedev cited growing homophobia in Russia as reason for action: report

Russian security guards wrestle with a protester who unfurled a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay as it passed through Voronezh, north of Sochi, where the Games will begin next month. Credit: youtube.com
Police detained a protester who unfurled a rainbow flag as the Olympic torch relay made its way through the city of Voronezh, north of Sochi where the Games will start next month. youtube

Russian security guards detained a protester who unfurled and briefly waved a rainbow flag as the Olympic torch relay made its way through Voronezh, a city to the north of Sochi, where the Games are set to begin next month.

In a video that captured the incident, Pavel Lebedev is briefly seen jumping and running with the flag as the relay passes by before being wrestled to the ground by two security officials, who leave him on the sidelines. He gets to his feet, holding the flag aloft, then another man in uniform, believed to be an Olympic official, leaves the passing relay and grabs him. Two more officials then bundle Lebedev to the side of the road, where he is detained by a policeman.

Lebedev later told the Associated Press that hosting the Games in Russia flies in the face of Olympic principles.