Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin says that the city does not need gay Pride marches.

When asked by the Ekho Moskvy radio station if a march would be permitted this year, he said: “I doubt it.”

The Moscow News reports that Mr Sobyanin continued: “I have my own opinion on this. Moscow absolutely does not need this and I am not in favour of it.”

The city’s last mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, repeatedly banned the marches on pretexts of health and safety and has called gays and lesbians “satanic”.

In October, the European Court of Human Rights upheld three complaints over Moscow’s Pride ban.

Russian gay rights leader Nikolai Alekseev complained to the court that the parade bans in 2006, 2007 and 2008 breached the European Convention on Human Rights.
The court agreed.

Since 2006, campaigners have attempted to hold the events but these were broken up by police.

In May 2006, more than 120 people were arrested and in 2007, British gay activist Peter Tatchell was severely beaten by neo-Nazis. In 2008, marchers accused police of brutality.