- BY ROBERT WILLIAMS | Vasily Shpundet was at a protest in the Russian city of Obninsk against the country’s controversial proposal that sought to ban so-called gay propaganda to minors in 2013 when a lawyer with the country’s Orthodox Church encouraged nationalists and hundreds of other people to attack him and the handful of other LGBT rights advocates who were protesting.

He said local police questioned him about the attack before another group of people who identified themselves as members of the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department kidnapped him and brought him to a basement. Shpundet said the men took his passport, backpack and cell phone, beat him and threatened to take him to a nearby forest before releasing him five hours later.


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