A group of partygoers were attacked over the weekend at a Moscow bar in another suspected homophobic attack in Russia, opposition politician and journalist Vera Kichanova has said.
The brawl started when a woman shouted a homophobic slur at one of her friends and started hitting him.
One of the attackers later said that he and his friends “beat gays like them half to death”.
“Another woman came over and then three other men joined in. At that point there were five of them beating my friend, who was lying on the floor with his hands covering his head,” Ms Kichanova said in a phone interview to The Moscow Times.
The 22-year-old, who was elected as Russia’s youngest and first libertarian lawmaker for a Moscow neighbourhood in March 2012, tried to break up the fight, but said she was punched multiple times in the stomach before she and her husband were removed by bar security guards, who then allegedly allowed the fight to continue.
“It was clear the security guards were on the side of the aggressors,” Ms Kichanova said, adding that the attackers were seen celebrating outside the bar on the street afterwards.
The group later received threatening messages via text from a man who identified himself as Armen and said he was one of the attackers. He warned them not to come back because “they looked gay” and that he and his friends “beat gays like them half to death”.