By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com January 21 2014 1:27 PM ET
A Russian nationalist who launched an "antipedophilia" campaign that lured gay men with promises of sexual encounters, then filmed as the victims were harassed, assaulted, and made to "confess" their homosexuality, has reportedly been arrested in Cuba after he fled Russia to avoid charges of "extremism."
Former skinhead Maxim Martsinkevich, also known as "Tesak," or "Cleaver" or "Slasher" in English, was in Cuban police's custody on Saturday, according to Russia's RIA Novosti, a state-run news agency.
Cuban police informed Russian authorities that Martsinkevich had been arrested, and the International Criminal Police Organization is currently arranging for Martsinkevich's extradition to Russia, the nation's Interior Ministry said in a statement Saturday.
Martsinkevich announced on his personal website that he had arrived in Cuba January 9, just one day after giving an interview to a Russian tabloid claiming that Russia's "pedo-lobby" was directing the criminal charges against him.
But BuzzFeed reports the charges against Martsinkevich stem from three videos the neo-Nazi released in December that include "acts in the spirit of skinhead culture," and his support for anti-immigrant riots that broke out in a Moscow suburb. Another Russian newspaper contended the charges arose from videos Martsinkevich posted in which he insults World War II veterans and "fantasizes about what would have happened if Germany had won the war." BuzzFeed notes that none of the reports cite Martsinkevich's antigay videos as the reason for his arrest.
Martsinkevich was released from jail in 2010, after serving more than thee years for his involvement with the nationalist group Format 18, charged with incitement to hatred.
Although they don't seem to be mentioned in the current charges facing the skinhead, Martsinkevich's Occupy Pedophilia campaign has produced a series of videos documenting the violent and homophobic harassment of men the group claims were seeking to have sex with minor boys. The graphic videos often go viral and have also been used to humiliate gay teenagers who responded to false romantic invitations from what they thought were other gay youth in chat rooms.