Gay Ukranian X-Factor Contestant Accuses Russian Neo-Nazis in Attack

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com December 03 2013 3:21 PM ET

The Russian neo-Nazi who recently fled the country to avoid prosecution under "extremism" charges is back at his old tricks, allegedly luring gay men into an apartment under the guise of an online suitor, then beating, harassing, and intimidating his unwitting victims, while filming the supposed "confessions" of pedophilia and homosexuality to publish online. 

But one gay man from Ukraine who says he was a recent victim of Maxim Martsinkevich, a former skinhead also known as "Cleaver," has opened a criminal investigation into the harassment his attackers captured on video. 

Alexander Bohun, a gay former contestant on the Ukranian version of The X Factor, responded to a personal ad he found on Russian social networking site VKontakte (VK.com), often labeled Russia's version of Facebook. But when the 24-year-old went to the address at which he believed he'd meet his date, he was met by Martsinkevich and his cohort of "ultranationalist" thugs who make up the antigay Russian group Occupy Pedophilia, according to LGBTQ Nation. The group has made a name for itself by luring gay men under false pretenses, then recording their assault, humiliation, and coerced confessions to share on social media sites. The videos often go viral and are used to shame and humiliate gay men and teenagers who the nationalists claim were seeking sex from minors.  

“I was referred to as 'pedophile,' mocked, and forced to admit actions and desires that I have not committed in any circumstances, and I had to admit all that publicly," Bohun said in a police report, according to a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office in Bohun's hometown of Sevastopol, Ukraine.

The disturbing video, which has since been edited but not removed entirely, shows Bohun admitting to trying to contact a minor, under threat of violence from Martsinkevich. The neo-Nazi then shaves Bohun's head down the middle in a "reverse mohawk," paints a rainbow on the gay man's head and Stars of David with an anti-Semitic slur on his bare chest, and forces Bohun to drink what Martsinkevich claims is urine. Martsinkevich then dumps urine on the man's head, in a series of assaults that mirror recent attacks on people perceived to be gay from South Africa, Iraq, and Ukraine. 

Those attacks, which took place within the Russian Federation, prompted Russian authorities to open an investigation and charge Martsinkevich with "incitement of ethnic and social hatred." If he's convicted, he could serve up to five years in prison, according to LGBTQ Nation.

Bohun's attorney, Elena Kherson, filed a criminal complaint on behalf of her client in Ukraine, contending that Martsinkevich violated Ukranian law by accusing Bohun of a crime without an investigation or trial. 

“There is no evidence of the involvement of Alexander Bohun, in the crimes of which Martsinkevich accused him, and most importantly, he is the true victim here,” said Kherson.