Attackers injure patrons at gay club in Russia

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Gay nightclub Fantom in Tolyatti, Russia, was stormed by attackers.

Local media reports that four people were injured on Sunday, one of whom was hospitalised with serious injuries. Activists believe the assaults may have been planned beforehand.

The management of the club has downplayed the attack, denying that the club is a gay bar and claiming the attack was simply an “ordinary” bar fight and not homophobic in nature.

Gay Liberation Front activist Konstantin Golava called on the local LGBT community to defend themselves from attacks.

“Gay people create a comfortable ghetto for themselves in clubs, one that seems safe to them. There’s nothing wrong with going out and having fun, but it’s also necessary to defend oneself and other LGBTQ people, defend your rights, and not grumble that activists are ’embracing and provoking’ and that ‘our rights are not being violated.'”

Homophobic hate crimes in Russia have increased dramatically since the passing of the “gay propaganda” bill which criminalizes distributing information about “non-traditional relationships” to minors.