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St. Petersburg LGBT Activist Detained After Solo Protest

Kalugins protest was stopped by police who were already on site only seconds after it had begun.

Published: August 6, 2014 (Issue # 1823)



  • Kalugin, center, is taken away by police after unfurling a rainbow flag in Palace Square that read My freedom protects yours.
    Photo: Nikolay Shestakov

LGBT rights activist Kirill Kalugin was detained on Palace Square within seconds on Aug. 2 after he attempted to hold a LGBT rights and anti-war one-man protest timed with the Russian Airborne Troops Day.

Kalugin unfolded a rainbow flag with an inscription saying My freedom protects yours and held it for about 10 seconds before he was assaulted by an anti-gay protester, who tried to take away his flag, while at the same time being seized from the other side by the police, who had apparently been stationed on the site to prevent his protest.

According to the law, police must show identification and give reasons for any arrest. However, according to onlookers, they took Kalugin into a police vehicle and ignored his demands that they show him their identification or explain their actions. As the police remained silent, they also tried to prevent him from showing his protest flag to the media present.

The anti-gay protester who assaulted Kalugin introduced himself to onlookers as Timur Isayev from the Islamic NGO Deistviye (Action). He was not detained by the police and instead gave a brief interview to the media present on scene, describing St. Petersburg as hell for homosexuals.

Isayev then headed to the police station where Kalugin was taken and filed a formal report against him, accusing him of violating the law prohibiting the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors.

At the time of printing, it is unknown if any legal action against Kalugin will follow.

Isayev is notorious for his homophobic messages on the Internet, where he describes himself as a colonel of the first moral front, and his attempts to have a high school teacher fired over her participation in an LGBT rights rally in 2013.

Kalugin was released three hours later without any charges being pressed. Speaking to The St. Petersburg Times this week, he said his detention was illegal because a one-man protest does not require any prior authorization by the Russian law.

[The police officers] did not introduce themselves or present any grounds [for the detention]: they took me by the arms and first tried to put me in a car, but then brought a police van and put me into the back section, Kalugin said.

Kalugin said the police took his formal explanation of what happened. Its a standard procedure; when they detain people for nothing, they must create some document, he said. According to Kalugin, he was approached by officers from the counter-extremism Center E police force while held at the police station. They tried to have a conversation with me, but I refused to talk to them, so they soon left, he said. The only thing they did was confiscate the flag.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The citys Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during todays Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the clubs website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBAs and Capital Legal Services event Arctic Expedition this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



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