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Masked Assailants Attack AIDS Prevention Center

Published: November 6, 2013 (Issue # 1785)



  • A key focus at the LGBT meeting on Sunday was the annual anti-fascist rally, March Against Hatred, held the day before.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Two masked men attacked an LGBT community center in downtown St. Petersburg on Sunday Nov. 3, firing a pellet gun and injuring two people in the attack. One of the victims was hospitalized with a serious eye injury.

The attack took place at around 7:20 p.m. at the LaSky community center, a project dedicated to help stop the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Between 25 and 30 people had gathered on Sunday for the centers Rainbow Coffee Party, a weekly meeting of LGBT youth and heterosexual friends of the community, the organization said in a statement released on Sunday.

According to those at LaSky, they sat in the unguarded offices located in a basement at 90 Fontanka embankment, where the Sunday gatherings are usually held, and discussed the March Against Hatred that was held in St. Petersburg on Nov. 2. The annual anti-fascist rally is dedicated to local scholar and legal expert Nikolai Girenko who was killed by neo-Nazis in 2004.

Anna Prutskova, an activist with the bisexual rights group lyuBI who works as a reporter with the Rosbalt news agency, said she was the first to see the attackers when she went to the door to make a call on her mobile phone because of poor reception in the office.

I was talking on the phone when the door opened and I saw two young people wearing masks, carrying a baseball bat and a pistol, Prutskova told The St. Petersburg Times on Monday.

At first I thought it was some silly practical joke and then I asked them who they were. They said they were looking for their friend and started pushing me out of the way. I realized that it was probably not a joke and ran away from them. Thats when they started shooting. I was hit in the back and Dmitry Chizhevsky was hit in the eye.

Prutskova said the attackers used a pneumatic pistol that fired small round metal pellets. According to Prutskova, the attack lasted about a minute before the attackers fled.

We locked the door very quickly, without even looking in which direction they ran, and called for the police and an ambulance, she said.

Prutskova suggested that the attack could have been a reaction to the March Against Hatred.

Firstly, there are neo-Nazi groups that dont like us very much. Secondly, it could be revenge for the march because it went smoothly enough and we asked the police to detain several provocateurs [who interfered with the march], Prutskova said. Perhaps they did not like that very much.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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