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Police stop the author of Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ ban from disrupting LGBT rights demonstrators


At a May Day parade in St. Petersburg today, police prevented city councilman Vitaly Milonov from disrupting a group of LGBT rights demonstrators. Milonov is considered the author of Russia’s controversial laws against “gay propaganda” in the presence of children.

According to the news website, Milonov arrived at today’s May Day parade with a group of his supporters that included several children. When he spotted a group of LGBT rights activists carrying rainbow flags, he began making his way toward the demonstrators, apparently intending to interfere with their march. Before he could reach the activists, however, local police intercepted Milonov and kept him away, asking him calmly not to cause a disruption.

In videos recorded at the demonstration, Milonov can be seen shouting abuse at the LGBT rights activists, as police keep him at a distance from the parade.

Vitaly Milonov shouts abuse at LGBT rights activists in St. Petersburg’s May Day parade. May 1, 2015.
Marina Kotova

After the incident, Milonov complained in a radio interview that demonstrations with LGBT flags are illegal and should be stopped. “These flags should have been removed,” he said, “and the people carrying them should have been detained. Leningrad stood up to the fascists [in World War II] for 900 days, and now here they are walking quietly through our streets. And they’re doing it openly. We oppose them. We will liquidate all homo-organizations.”

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