The struggle for gay rights in Moscow is examined through a profile of
Nikolai Alekseyev, Russia's most prominent and controversial gay
activist, in The New York Times.
According to the Times, Alekseyev, 33, "has the air of a maligned schoolboy out for retribution. He decided to become an activist after Moscow State University, where he was enrolled, refused to accept his graduate thesis, Legal Regulation of the Status of Sexual Minorities."
By defying government-imposed ban and holding an annual event he calls Moscow Pride, Alekseyev has been arrested multiple times and been attacked by neo-Nazi thugs. Not everyone agrees with Alekseyev's tactics. "He focuses only on these protests," Igor Yasin, another Moscow-based gay-rights campaigner, tells the Times. "And when he has the opportunity to explain what he is fighting for, what we are fighting for, it seems as if he's not able to provide an answer."
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