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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

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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