By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com August 02 2013 12:08 PM ET
A lone gay activist was attacked by a group of former Russian paratroopers in St. Petersburg today, as revealed by a YouTube video and images released on Getty.
The video shows the ex-servicemen surrounding, seizing, and shoving Kirill Kalugin in Palace Square, as he stood alone carrying a rainbow flag, in a one-man protest against the country's recently passed ban on so-called "homosexual propaganda." The former pilots, clad in berets, fatigue pants, and blue- and white-striped shirts, had gathered in the central city square to celebrate Russian Paratroopers Day, an annual celebration of the airborne force.
"We do not agree with this and ask you to stop this sort of action and your one-man picket,” one of the paratroopers told Kalugin, according to an Animal New York translation of the exchange. He pushed Kalugin, who fell.
The paratroopers, who appear visibly intoxicated, also hurled expletives at the protestor, including the word "faggot."
Russian riot police intervened in the scuffle to detain the former paratroopers, who resisted their arrest.
Watch the altercation below.
Russian paratroopers scuffle with gay right activist Kirill Kalugin in St. Petersburg on August 2, 2013.
Russian riot police detain paratrooper veterans on August 2, 2013 at the Palace Square in St. Petersburg, after they harassed gay activist Kirill Kalugin.