With the Sochi Olympics on the horizon, Russian hate towards the gay community is on display for all to see
In 2010, Maxim Martsinkevich walked out of a Russian jail. Known as Maxim Tesak , he had been imprisoned for three years for “incitement to ethnic strife with the threat of the use of violence,” a violation of Article 282 part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
At the time of his arrest, Tesak (which means “cleaver” or “knife”) was studying architecture at a Russian university. He was also the founder of Front18, a violent and armed wing of the Russian neo-Nazi group, NSO. After his release, Tesak still supported a “pure Russia,” but the object of his violence and hatred changed from immigrants to gay men.
Over the past few months, snippets of what Tesak and his gang are doing to gay men in Russia have begun garnering attention here in America. Thanks to LGBT activists and websites like The Gaily Grind, a picture of true evil and pure hate has emerged.
Using social networking sites, Tesak and his crew are creating fake personal ads aimed at young, gay men. Videos, proudly shared on the Russian social network site VK.com and at a You Tube channel affiliated with REN Television show groups of these “heroes” physically and verbally attacking men they claim are pedophiles. However, this quote from an article on Lenta’s website proves that all gay men are considered pedophiles by Tesak and his kind:
“I think virtually all gay men-pedophiles. They are upset because once their moral foundations-crossed once-and crossed to the other. Today he likes boys, then children will like. They are unsuitable for life in society.” Mikhail Krasnov, member of the VK.com group Occupy Kamensky, translated from Russian to English via Google.
Unsuitable for life in society. Krasnov also told the interviewer for Lenta “If it was up to me, I’d kill them all but the government does not allow that.” In Tesak’s world, Krasnov’s world and the world of so many of these “men,” luring a gay teenager with a fake personal ad is capturing a pedophile.
Here, you can watch a 15-year old victim (contains graphic images) of one of these traps as he is verbally assaulted and threatened. He finally stands in the snow, surrounded by people who wish him dead as they pour urine over his head. Understand, there was no “Uncle Dima.” This was a trap for a 15-year old kid. What you’re watching is a hate crime.
Human rights groups are outraged, as well they should be. Victims and their families have reported these incidences to the Russian police, but the police refuse to act. There may be an explanation for that. During a recent Pride Parade in St. Petersburg, Russian police were captured on film taking part in the beatings of LGBT activists (contains graphic images). You see, when your leader hates gay people, it’s much easier to get away with torturing them, beating them, lying about them and arresting them.
In Russia, it is now illegal to “promote” homosexuality. Rainbow flags are outlawed. Any book or printed material that mentions homosexuality is outlawed. Vladimir Putin is waging war on the LGBT community in his country, both explicitly and implicitly. His silence on the actions of people like Maxim Tesak and Mikhail Krasnov is proof that Putin wishes harm on the Russian LGBT community.
The 2014 Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in the Russian resort town of Sochi. Given what is transpiring under Vladimir Putin’s government regarding the treatment of the LGBT community, one must wonder how this will play out. Will the International Olympic Committee put into place safeguards, guaranteeing that the world’s athletes and the millions of attendees will remain unharmed?
Russia has ignored pleas from the IOC, asking that the draconian anti-homosexuality laws be suspended. Who will keep LGBT Olympic athletes and fans safe? It obviously won’t be Russia, as they seem to have no intention of relaxing their hate and bigotry in the spirit of the games.
Many are calling for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Games while others suggest moving the games to a more human rights friendly country like Canada. I truly do not know what the solution is, but I do know that if Vladimir Putin continues his war against the LGBT community in Russia while Tesak and his gangs go unchecked, the IOC will be placed in a very precarious position.
Sochi was their choice, and it is their responsibility to keep the world’s athletes safe as well as the attendees. How do you do that when the host government has promised to arrest an entire segment of society? A country where the authorities call Maxim Tesak and his ilk one of the “civil movements fighting the sins of the society?”
What is the answer to a government that supports hate and violence?