Several LGBT rights activists have been attacked in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg – with one man reportedly shot in the eye.
The incident happened late on Sunday evening at the offices of LaSky, an HIV support organisation for gay men.
It’s claimed the attackers were carrying baseball bats as well as guns.
Russian activist Maria Markina said: “One guy was shot in the eye. The bullet is still there. Doctors are not sure that they can save his eye.”
The police reportedly arrived at the LaSky office but left immediately saying they saw no evidence of a crime.
In a statement, LaSky said: “Today’s attack is a result of escalation of homophobic climate in the city.
“Those who foster the feelings of hatred on the ground of sexual orientation or gender identity including politicians and religious leaders must be accounted for it.
“This attack aimed at the office of organization for prevention of HIV and STDs is an indication that pogrom-makers progressed from attacking activists during street rallies to attacks on closed private social events.”
The Games are due to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in February 2014.
“We are doing everything, both the organisers and our athletes and fans, so that participants and guests feel comfortable in Sochi, regardless of nationality, race or sexual orientation” President Putin told Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), last Monday.