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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

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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