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WATCH: Russian Police Detain LGBT Activists in St. Petersburg

WATCH: Russian Police Detain LGBT Activists in St. Petersburg


The activist's signs were torn by Russian paratroopers, who had gathered in the city to celebrate a military holiday.

Several LGBT rights activists were detained Sunday by Russian police.

The protestors were staging one-man pickets near the Hermitage Museum on Airborne Forces Day, a military holiday, reports the Associated Press.

Yuri Gavrikov, an LGBT rights leader, was detained for cursing in public, though he denies the charge. He is now awaiting a court hearing at a police station.

Several other activists were taken away by police, after veterans of the Russian Airborne Forces confronted the protestors, tearing their posters and banners. The veterans had also gathered in Palace Square, a central location in the Russian city, to celebrate the military holiday.

"What they do here is not right, it's terrible," said Alexander Fadeyev, one of the paratroopers who confronted the activists. "We're in Russia and not in America. Let them do what they want in America, but not in Russia."

"Yes, I'm gay, and I have similar rights to other people," said activist Alexei Nazarov.

Russian law does not require permits for individual pickets, though it's so-called "gay propaganda" ban is used to prohibit public LGBT demonstrations.

Watch a video of the confrontation below.

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