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Russian Blogger Says Interrogated for Creating 'Gay Terrorist Underworld'

Published: August 30, 2014 (Issue # 1826)



  • Marchenko, who has expressed support on his LiveJournal blog for both gay rights and the Kiev government currently battling a pro-Russian insurgency, said he was first summoned to the FSB's offices a week ago and accused of creating a "gay terrorist underworld"
    Photo: VK.com

A blogger in the Khabarovsk region in Russia's Far East says the Federal Security Service (FSB) has accused him of creating a "gay terrorist underworld" in a bid to bring about regime change, regional news website Amurburg.ru reported.

Unidentified investigators came to Andrei Marchenko's home Thursday and "turned the apartment inside out" searching for U.S. dollars, extremist materials and drugs, Marchenko told Amurburg.ru.

"They were very aggressive, and one investigator said immediately that I'd have to go with them after the raid; he was apparently very confident that they'd find something. Judging by the two video cameras [they had with them], they were expecting to find millions of dollars, banned books and a bunch of underage boys," Marchenko was cited as saying.

The blogger, who has expressed support on his LiveJournal blog for both gay rights and the Kiev government currently battling a pro-Russian insurgency, said he was first summoned to the FSB's offices a week ago and accused of creating a "gay terrorist underworld" with a local LGBT activist, Alexander Yermoshkin, with the aim of fomenting an "Orange Revolution" in Khabarovsk.

The Orange Revolution was a series of massive public rallies protesting election rigging in Ukraine in 2004 that brought about new elections and a different, pro-Western president.

Investigators also told Marchenko that it was his posts on social networks in support of Kiev against the separatists that had attracted their attention, he said.

On Thursday, he posted several photos of benches painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in Khabarovsk, with the caption: "Politically incorrect benches in a courtyard in Khabarovsk. I'm curious, is the anti-extremism department already searching for those who painted them?"

Shortly after that post, a new message appeared: "This is Andrei's friend writing at his request. A search of his apartment was conducted this evening. They're accusing him of extremism and of supporting Ukraine," the message read.

During the search at his home, four computers were confiscated, along with five phones, several USB drives, hard drives and a modem, leaving him without means of communication at home, the blogger told Amurburg.ru.

Marchenko said he was told to return for questioning on Friday, and that investigators were seeking to charge him with public incitement of hatred. The charge carries a maximum punishment of four years behind bars.

There has been no confirmation from the FSB on any case against Marchenko.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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