Two Wounded in Pogrom-Like Attack in St. Petersburg: Police See ’No Evidence of a Crime’
The anti-gay violence in Russia escalated this weekend when two masked men armed with guns and baseball bats entered the offices of an HIV services organization in St. Petersburg and opened fire wounding two in a pogrom-like attack.
According to a press release posted on the Russian LGBT Network’s Facebook page, the incident occurred on Sunday afternoon in the offices of LaSky, an HIV service organization located in St. Petersburg during the weekly "Rainbow Coffee" social event hosted by the organization. Two assailants entered a community center pretending to be "looking for a friend." One of them pulled a pneumatic gun and opened fire while the other brandished a baseball bat.
Two persons were injured in the attack. A young man, who was shot in the face and got a bullet in his eye, was taken to the hospital. A second victim was a young lady who was injured by the baseball bat.
According to The Advocate, police reportedly arrived at the LaSky office but left immediately saying they saw no evidence of a crime.
Gay Star News reports that about a month ago, numerous homophobic pages on Russian social network VK called for attacks on the LaSky community center.
According to the statement from LaSky, Sunday’s attack is the result of the escalation of a homophobic climate in the city. The statement goes on to say "Those who foster the feelings of hatred on the ground of sexual orientation or gender identity including politicians and religious leaders must be accounted for it. This attack aimed at the office of organization for prevention of HIV and STD is an indication that pogrom-makers progressed from attacking activists during street rallies to attacks on closed private social events."