Voronezh LGBT campaigner Pavel Lebeved attacked

Prominent LGBT campaigner Pavel Lebedev was attacked on the night of June 3 in his home city of Voronezh.

"My boyfriend and I were sitting on a bench near our house when we were approached by a group of drunken... citizens. One of them asked for a cigarette which I gave him. But instead of thanking me, he said then: Are you that ***! Have long been looking for you."

Lebedev and his boyfriend Kolya tried to flee but were knocked down and kicked in their stomachs.

The two men barely managed to escape.

Lebedev and his partner are determined to seek action from the police in connection with the attack.

This is not the first time Lebedev is targeted: in January 2013, in Voronezh, a mob of enraged homophobes protesting against a picket in support of LGBT rights that had been authorised by the authorities attacked and tried to butcher Lebedev who was the organiser. The police were watching but did not intervene. Pavel survived, suffering injuries, yet none of the attackers were punished.

Pavel Lebedev and Yaroslav Yevtushenko had been planning a gay march in central Voronezh for May 26, 2012. The march was not authorised, and they decided to hold single pickets instead. But soon they began to receive threats from the local extremist groups and decided against risking their own lives and health and that of others and cancelled the pickets.