A notorious young Communist who headed mobs intent on homophobic violence during Moscow Pride in 2006 and 2007 is standing for election to the city’s council.

Pavel Tarasov has also been appearing on national TV as a spokesman for the Communist candidate for President of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov.

Presidential and municipal elections are being held on Sunday.

Mr Tarasov participated in two anti-gay riots in the centre of Moscow, according to GayRussia.Ru.

In 2006 and 2007 both gay Pride marches were banned by the city authorities and attacked by homophobes.

Tarasov was present on both occastions directing a group of young Communists who dispersed LGBT people on the streets of Moscow.

Wearing a red T-shirt with Communist symbols Tarasov was a head of homophobic mob which shouted on the streets: “Death to faggots!”

During the 2007 Pride ban demonstration Tarasov and his comrades appeared on the streets and made homophobic statements in front of the cameras.

His most notorious homophobic statement was made in 2006 at the official forum of young communist homepage. In October 2006 he declared:

“Faggots need to attract attention to themselves so that they could be regarded as gays, not as faggots. Good faggot is a dead faggot!”

The Communist Party of Russian Federation is one of the most homophobic in the country.

Its leader Gennady Zyuganov says that homosexuality is contrary to Russian national traditions.

Former deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is expected to win the election.

He has been backed by incumbent Vladimir Putin, who is legally barred from seeking a third consecutive term.

Medvedev has already announced that if elected, he will appoint Putin as his Prime Minister, and he is expected to rule as a mere figurehead President as power remains in the hands of Putin.