Proudly gay Russian influencer found murdered in friend’s home after enduring years of homophobic abuse. He was 23

Egor Gromov

A gay Russian influencer has been found dead with signs of strangulation after enduring years of homophobic abuse from online trolls.

Ali Zabirov, 23, had thousands of followers on TikTok and Instagram under the name Egor Gromov. He was openly gay, with his sexuality drawing frequent attacks from online trolls.

He was found murdered in a 46-year-old friend’s St Petersburg flat on August 2. His body was lying face down on pillow, with signs of beatings on his body and bruising around the neck which indicated he had been strangled.

Police suspect the flat’s owner might have turned violent when Gromov came on to him, the Daily Star reported. The man claims Egor Gromov had come to visit him the day before to borrow some money, and decided to stay the night in the property.

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Gromov’s friend called the police himself the following day but denied responsibility for the murder, saying that he had found Gromov like that and believed he had died from a drug overdose.

“I tried to wake him up,” he said in an interrogation shown on the 5-TV news channel. “I called the police myself. What could I do? If I knew that he was going to die here, would I let him in or what?”

Police arrested him when it became clear Gromov had died a violent death, and the suspect is now in custody in pre-trial detention.

Local radio station Radio KP said that police believe the two acquaintances had been drinking when Gromov propositioned the older man, which resulted in a violent reaction and his eventual death.

The investigation into his murder is ongoing.

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