Gay Russian journalist stabbed to death by ‘Hitler-loving homophobic vigilante’
A homophobe has been arrested in Russia over the murder of a gay journalist he allegedly planned to blackmail for money.
Dmitry Tsilikin, a popular arts and theatre critic who had written for Kommersant, Moscow News, Vogue and Elle, was found dead in his St Petersburg home earlier this month.
The journalist had been stabbed with a knife a dozen times – and by the time his body was found, he had bled to death in a pool of his own blood.
Though Mr Tsilikin was not open about his sexuality, a number of Russian newspapers have posthumously outed him as gay, after 21-year-old Sergei Kosyreva was arrested over the murder.
The country’s newspapers speculated it was the latest in a “series of high-profile murders of homosexual men”, and noted that Kosyreva displayed an obsession with Hitler imagery on his social media pages.
A Human Rights Watch researcher who examined the case wrote: “The attacker reportedly told the police he had met Tsilikin online and planned to blackmail Tsilikin about his homosexuality but killed him after an argument. The attacker’s social network accounts contain images of swastikas and Adolf Hitler.”
They continued: “It’s critical the prosecuting authorities do not ignore evidence of all possible motives for this gruesome killing, including Tsilikin’s sexual orientation.
“Russia has hate crime laws on the books that can be applied.
“I have reason to be skeptical: of the several dozen anti-LGBT attacks I’ve documented in recent years, none were investigated and prosecuted as hate crimes, even the ones that most blatantly involving a hate motive.”
They added: “Until Russian authorities rein in their own hateful rhetoric, acknowledge their obligation to protect those who identify as LGBT and their supporters, and act on that obligation, the attacks will continue. And some, like Dmitry Tsilikin, will pay with their lives.”