Gay fans traveling to the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow this weekend are being warned that extremists are planning to “roam the streets” of the city looking for homosexuals to assault. Via the Guardian UK:
[T]here is now a distinct possibility that Russian nationalists and neo-Nazis will once again beat up gay demonstrators – as well as visiting Eurovision fans – in what would be a severe blow to Russia’s international reputation and to Eurovision, already reeling from eastern European bloc-voting scandals. The Dutch Eurovision entrants, a three-man combo called the Toppers, have promised to boycott the final if the Moscow authorities prevent the march. Few are optimistic that the rally will go off without trouble. “Groups of fanatics and extremists will be roaming the streets in the centre of Moscow looking for people to beat up,” Nikolai Alekseev, the organiser of the Slavic Pride rally, told the Guardian. “Nobody will care. Moscow police will do nothing to protect them.” Asked whether gay British fans should avoid travelling to Moscow this Saturday, he warned: “Everybody has to make their own choice. But they won’t be safe.” That Eurovision has a wide gay following isn’t much of a secret, even in Russia. “Lots of gays and lesbians are fans of Eurovision. It’s a very gay event,” Alekseev said.
Moscow’s mayor has called gay people “satanic” and “weapons of mass destruction.” Taking the lead from his mayor, one Orthodox Christian extremist organizer told the Guardian: “We won’t allow this satanic gathering. We don’t want Moscow to become Sodom. It’s an affront to Russian society and to our spiritual peace.”