A Russian Judge at the Court of St Petersburg ruled on Wednesday that the ban on the city’s Pride march back in June was illegal.

As reported in the column of Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseev at yagg.com, this historic decision comes hot on the heels of Monday’s news concerning the Moscow Court of Appeal, who ruled that the closure last September of the oldest gay club in the Russia’s capital was illegal.

The club was closed down by Moscow Prefect, Oleg Mitvol, on the grounds of “immorality”.

Mr Alekseev said: “For the first time, Russian courts recognize our right to express [ourselves] freely in the streets.”

He added: “I want to share this moment with all those who supported us and followed us over the years. In a country which those abroad often say it is better not do anything since we cannot change minds, it’s a sign that change can happen anywhere, as long as one believes and spares no effort.

“Our right to peaceful protest has been recognised by a Russian court. It’s a small victory but the first is always the best.”

Next year, it is hoped that the third Slavic Pride will be held peacefully in St Petersburg.