Grave concerns about well-being of Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev

I’ve been avoiding this story for two weeks now, but it’s no longer possible to.  Something very scary is going on with lead Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alexeyev (also spelled Alekseyev and Alekseev), who either has been extorted by the Russian government, or has seemingly gone off his rocker.

A series of bizarre tweets and Facebook posts began two weeks ago – including one Facebook post entitled “Kidnapped,” alongside three photos of a man, apparently Alexeyev, in his undewear and then naked – culminating in Alexeyev, or someone in his name, posting a death threat on his Twitter account last night, and then today posting two incredibly anti-Semitic tweets, calling OUT magazine a “jewish slut magazine,” and the editor of gay porn mogul Michael Lucas’ recent article critical of Alexeyex a “jewish pig, israeli monkey.”  Alexeyev then went on to use the word “kike” repeatedly in Russian and English.

The story continues to grow more bizarre by the hour.  Since the publication of this story, Alexeyev posted additional anti-Semitic comments, and now is trying to claim that his threat to quit LGBT advocacy was simply a “social experiment.”  But the threat to quit came two days ago, while his erratic online behavior began two weeks ago.  Also the supposed “social experiment” surrounding his threat to quit does not explain the repeated anti-Semitic posts, the death threat he posted on Twitter, his publicly naming two western gay activists as supposed pedophiles, and now a new anti-Semitic Facebook post and several tweets on Friday referring to Jewish vodka made from sperm:

alexeyev-twitter-jewish alexeyev-facebook-jewish

Here are a few twitter comments authored by someone else, and retweeted by Alexeyev’s Twitter account, today:

alexeyev-tweet-jewish

This wouldn’t be Alexeyev’s first run-in with anti-Semitism (which either reinforces that he is actually a bigot, or it’s a cute trick by the Russian authorities to play off of Alexeyev’s earlier problems with this issue).

Then last night, there was this bizarre death threat against Lucas, in response to a piece highly-critical of Alexeyev that Lucas published in OUT magazine yesterday:

alexeyev-death-threat

In a longer series of odd tweets, Alexeyev went on to say that he was quitting the gay rights battle entirely as a result of the single op ed.  It was all a bit surreal.

In my opinion, either:

1. The Russian government has threatened Alexeyev personally, or threatened his mother, and thus Alexeyev is either authoring (or the Russian government is authoring in his name) horrific tweets and Facebook posts to undermine his, and overall LGBT, credibility; or

2. Alexeyev is no longer a credible voice on any progressive issue, let alone LGBT rights.

I was worrying for the past few weeks that this was simply Alexeyev being Alexeyev.  Some people who know him say that he can be a bit emotional, to put it nicely.  But the last two weeks have been downright unhinged.  I think there’s now a serious question as to whether he’s being coerced, or whether the government is even faking these comments in his name.  And if he’s not being coerced, someone with an amazing record of LGBT activism is now finished.

First, a quick word about Lucas, who wrote the critical op ed.  I wasn’t familiar with the man, but he’s apparently a Russian Jew who emigrated to the states and made a killing in the porn business.  It’s worth noting that Lucas has had his own run-in with intolerance, vis-a-vis Muslims, and is considered controversial in his own right.

nikolai-alexeyevHaving said that, Lucas’ op ed in OUT does an accurate job of detailing the incidents of “Alexeyev’s” bizarre behavior these past two weeks, and is worth a read for getting the full background on it (the info he cites – the tweets, Facebook posts, and more – are easily confirmed via the other links I’ve posted in this story).

In addition to the tweets and Facebook posts, a horrific op ed appeared this week in the Kremlin propaganda rag Russia Today in which “Alexeyev” suggested that the Russian anti-gay “propaganda” law was no big deal because it won’t be implemented much anyway, and that gay Russians seeking asylum in the US were fakes and liars who didn’t deserve asylum because most gays don’t face serious persecution in Russia and/or they’re straight people pretending to be gay.  A similar claim was posted on Alexeyev’s Facebook page:

alexeyev-facebook-asylum

There was also a post on his Facebook page alleging that two American friends of his, who I believe are gay activists, were both pedophiles.

facebook-alexeyev-ped

Judging by a subsequent post on Alexeyev’s Twitter account, it appears that this unsubstantiated allegation of pedophilia may be what got his Facebook page deleted:

fb-blocked

I think you now get the flavor of the past two weeks.

All of this culminated in yesterday’s Lucas op ed in OUT, and “Alexeyev’s” bizarre responses on Twitter in which he, or someone in his name, declared that because of the one critical op ed he was quitting the gay rights battle entirely.  The tweets went downhill from there.  Here are a number of them, in order (read from the bottom up):

alexyev-3

alexeyev-2

alexeyev-1

What’s even weirder is that the Twitter account then tweeted a few tweets wondering if the account had been hacked, which would be a strange thing to post if you were a hacker, but it’s also a bizarre thing to tweet and then not respond to if it’s really you:

weird-alexyeyv-tweet

twiter

One final point – Alexeyev did appear in a Reuters video on Tuesday about the Russian authorities searching his apartment.  So he was clearly alive at that point.  The video does not, however, give any indication as to the veracity of the rest of these ongoing comments and posts.  All it really tells us is that he’s alive, and did not appear to be beaten up.

As I said, I was going to leave this alone because I honestly thought he’d lost his mind, and it’s not worth getting into these kind of issues, particularly when it could undercut the important work ahead on Russian LGBT rights.  But now I’m not so sure.  The behavior is simply too erratic to be ignored.  I think there’s a real chance that he’s been threatened, or worse, the life of his mother has been threatened, by the Russian government.  Either that, or Russia’s top LGBT advocate seems to have lost his mind, and is no longer a credible representative of the LGBT community anywhere.

I don’t know which is true, but the issue has come to a head and needs to be aired publicly.  So now it has been.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Bill_Perdue

    You’re confused. Salon and Al Jazeera are not leftist venues, they’re liberal and part of the right centrist political milieu.

    Criticizing islamists is correct, pretending that everyone in Arab and muslim cultures are islamists is rabid racism. For the most part, since the movement split in Egypt, most of leading groups backing the Arab Spring are unions and workers, our own communicates, women and feminists, college students and unemployed youth. Those are the facts.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor
  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’ll be curious what explanation there is for: Jewish vodka made from distilled sperm.

  • Bill_Perdue

    That’s nice but it has nothing to do with the question you raised. What practices and what leftists are you talking about. Give us names and quotes and links. If you have none we can just leave it at that.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    A good example and a recent one (though not involving Islam) is Katrina van den Heuvel’s op-ed about Russia, gay rights and the Olympics.

  • Bill_Perdue

    What practices and what leftists are you talking about. Give us names and quotes and links.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I should open up my Twitter feed. Any time someone criticizes the Christianists the response is: “you wouldn’t dare say that about the Muslims” and when the same person criticizes something a Muslim has done he is called a racist or an Islamophobe. I see what I describe every day. Cultural relativism. I hear it all the time. No I don’t think there’s any different between anyone who does horrible things regardless of what superstitious nonsense they used to justify it. And I don’t respect beliefs that supercede common decency. I think no more of a Christian who enganges in hate crimes than I do a Muslim who does the same. Nor do I abide those who make excuses for one or the other no matter which way they do it. Yes, we can criticize other cultures. I believe in universal human rights and that does not make me a racist or a phobe of any kind.

    Yes, what I describe is commonly practiced by the left. To be fair it is more common in Europe than in America, but it is common indeed.

  • Anonymous

    He claims he was only referring to Michael Lucas. And he doesn’t understand boycotts, but then many activists both here and there don’t

  • Bill_Perdue

    What practices and what leftists are you talking about. Give us names and quotes and links.

    Those who paint all muslims with the same broad brush are Islamophobes and racists.

    I never use the terms Islamophobe except when people claim that “Anyone who dares criticize the horrible practices in the Muslim countries is called that to try to shut them up.” That’s simply not true, nor is it true that the islamist cults are any better or worse than the christer and judaist cults.

  • FLL

    The Moscow Times is the English language sister publication of The St. Petersburg Times. They are both published in Russia and owned by a Finnish corporation. The Moscow Times published an article today (August 30) in which Alexeyev explains that he is quitting gay rights activism, and that his reason for doing so was the op ed article by Lucas (link to the article is here). Alexeyev may be quitting gay activism for any of the following reasons:

    (1) because he is being bought off by the Russian government (a possibility mentioned in the Moscow Times article)
    (2) because the Russian government threatened his mother
    (3) because he resents the success of the vodka boycott that Dan Savage and Harvey Fierstein sparked (and is perhaps embarrassed because he chose not to support the boycott)
    (4) some personal reason that no one has thought of yet

    The important point is that, for whatever reason, Alexeyev is cooperating with Putin’s government and is no longer a force for LGBT activism in Russia. I think there is an additional lesson here. The pressure that the Russian government can bring to bear on Russian activists is not unique to Alexeyev’s case. If they can threaten Alexeyev’s mother, they can threaten anyone’s relatives or partners. The conclusion is obvious. Russia’s LGBT movement desperately need Western activists to pressure the Russian government in any way possible. Boycotts are a proven tool. Revoking the visa status of homophobic Russian legislators helps because they wouldn’t be able to travel to the West. In her recent interview, Masha Green said it was incumbent on all of us to make life “hell” for the political and cultural representatives of Russia (yes, that includes the Bolshoi Ballet) every time they set foot in the West. Anything and everything helps. The one thing that wouldn’t really help much is sending Russian activists an email that says, “Hey, keep up the good work, you guys.”

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Agreed. We don’t have any way of knowing who sent the tweets and/or if they were sent under duress of some kind. First the Gays, then the Jews. I guess the Roma are next? This really is 1933 all over again.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    First of all, Islam is a religion, not a race.

    Second, I agree that blaming all Muslims for the actions of some Muslims is wrong and a form of bigotry. Everyone who lives in a city has met someone who is Muslim. They are no better or worse people than anyone else.

    Finally, my objection is to the current practice of accusing anyone of Islamophobia who dares criticize practices in some Muslim cultures. It is not irrational to oppose honor killings, female circumcision, the execution of gay men and many other human rights abuses. I would (and do) criticize similar practices in Christian countries like Russia and Uganda. I find some on the left are bending over backwards to defend practices in the Muslim world that they would go ape-shit over if they happened in the West. THAT to me is also racist. I hold everyone to the same standard. And I don’t give religion a free pass. Too many horrible acts are committed in the name of religion. (And to be fair, I think religion is more often than not the excuse, not the reason, for those acts, which is even more reason not to give the religion a free pass.)

  • Anonymous

    He’s back. He claims he was performing a “social experiment.” Everything back to normal. Hopefully he has an explanation for all the BS he said.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Correct about the last part. The bigger story here is the kremlin, I’ll be writing more on that today.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    As I wrote, we already know he’s at liberty as he was in the Reuters vid on Tuesday. That doesn’t mean they didn’t already threaten his mother.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That tweet is mocking us.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    He’s been against the boycotts and undercutting them from day one. He never tweeted in favor I’d them. That tweet you posted above is mocking us.

  • RyansTake

    Not stupid. One of the many things worth stirring in the pensieve to contemplate. So much is going on, we’re never going to know that one little detail that could put all the pieces together until it comes up.

  • RyansTake

    If the latter, I wonder if he has meds of any kind… and is off them?

    There’s a lot that could be going on, but while personal concern seems merited, it’s important for us to remember that no movement hinges on one person.

  • grayzip

    I don’t know much about the guy. I could be convinced that the man is an anti-Semite given that Russia is crawling with them and gay is no magic inoculation against other bigotries, and/or that he is is cracking up under the pressure of the anti-gay siege. But the thing that makes me question the authenticity of all of this is the Facebook msg about the two gays who are supposedly being pedophiles, so he’s reporting them. That is just too exactly what the Kremlin is putting forward in their gay propaganda against gay “propaganda.” It’s even what the Kremlin says to do. And if one of these is counterfeit then they likely all are. Russia is the country that poisoned an enemy with radiation on foreign soil. They are kind of ham-fisted when it comes to stuff like this

  • FLL

    I’m almost starting to think that more than one actor is involved in the fake tweets. No one in the Russian government would tweet that an oil embargo (on the part of Western Europeans or others) would be a good future target because it’s so true. An effective oil embargo or a drop in oil prices below $60 per barrel would be catastrophic for Putin’s government. Could more than one party be hacking? In addition to Alexeyev occasionally tweeting authentic messages? Very confusing.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    True, that’s the bottom line — but why would he in one tweet call the Stoli and Coke boycotts an utter failure, then an hour later tweet his happiness for the success of those attempted boycotts?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    The problem is he was saying this kind of thing a month ago. Bottom line is there are a lot of Russians working on this campaign and he chose not to. It’s hard not to wonder if that’s part of what’s going on, now that the last month had been so successful blowing the issue up and he had very little part in it. If someone is punking him, they’re doing a very good job.

  • FLL

    If he’s typing on a phone or iPad, it would indicate he’s still at liberty, although I still want to know about his safety and whereabouts. I would only trust a personal appearance somewhere.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    His computer was confiscated
    , he could be typing on a phone or an iPad. You should see the way I write on my ipad. It’s horrific

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    We’ll he could say it. He had Reuters over. Depends what kind of coercion they used. What makes it difficult is that people who know him and his work say that while this is extreme even for him, it’s only just so. Meaning this is consistent with a longtime pattern of his actions, though this is the worst it’s ever gotten.

  • FLL

    The Kremlin’s wifi? …?!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I saw that. Someone thinks they’re being “funny.”

  • FLL

    It almost looks as if some editor is choosing an occasional word, like “break,” and exaggerating the Russian-esque misspelling ridiculously to make it look more “authentic.” Now what Russian ESL learner would spell the word “beackh”? It’s so overdone as to be suspicious.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    More weirdness.

    Tweet from Alexeyev’s account 10h ago: “Now stupid American activists are protesting Coca-Cola after failed protest against Russian vodka. As if Coca-Cola can breackh its contact.” (typo reprinted verbatim)

    Subsequent tweet an hour later:

    Loved what St. Petersburg Gay Pride organizer @gayury wrote:
    1. Stoli boycott – DONE
    2. Coca-Cola boycott – DONE
    3. Oil – ????
    )))

    I think I’m getting whiplash.

  • Anonymous

    “So far we’ve ignored the single most obvious fact. Alexeyev’s Twitter posts were made using the Kremlin’s wifi.”

    Just read this comment on qweerty. Can anyone verify this?

  • Anonymous

    And now his “Twitter accounts will close” – big surprise there

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That’s one of the background stories in this. Apparently Elena “Dolores Umbridge” Mizulina and her deputy, Olga Batalina, are trying to charge Alexeyev for insulting them as a government officials.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I concur — we really need to find out what’s actually happening with him.

  • Anonymous

    I believe he’s been compromised. Whether it is just him complying or someone else ruining his reputation. His electronics were taken and most likely passwords given out. He’s going to self-destruct, at least on the web, and his accounts will close. We’re not going to see an indication of it, because he can’t just say “hey the police coerced me.”

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yes, he had tweeted about members of parliament and criticized them – it’s against the law in russia to “insult” a government official. Seriously.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    What’s really disturbing is that if it’s him, he still hasn’t said boo about the hideously anti-semitic comments he retweeted earlier today, calling OUT magazine a “Jewish slut magazine.” And calling someone else a “jewish pig.” I’m sorry, either the man has been threatened by Putin (or somehow else compromised by Russian official pressuer or subterfuge), and needs our help, or he is through as an activist. But someone needs to get to the bottom of this fast.

  • Anonymous

    When he said “my dad died without medical help from anybody” it’s pretty clear that the authorities are the reason.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, his mom seemed okay in the video. It may just be code for saying he wants to protect her. I think Michael Lucas is being used as something of a scapegoat. Nikolai seems coerced into stopping activism, and he wants to blame someone else to make it look like he decided that freely. If he stopped posting altogether, people would know the police silenced him.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I suppose it’s possible Alexeyev has been compromised AND he’s no longer a reliable voice on progressive issues of any kind.

    But I don’t know. That’s one problem in the world of social media: You (almost) never know if you’re talking to someone who radically changed their minds and attitudes on their own, if they’re being coerced into giving the appearance of having done so, or their accounts have been taken over by someone else with a mind to discredit them.

  • FLL

    Before Lucas wrote yesterday’s op ed in OUT, people could have said that Lucas might have had a possible motive for making Alexeyev look bad rather than blaming the Kremlin; this possible motive could be based on previous examples of antisemitism from Alexeyev. I read Lucas’ op ed in OUT from yesterday, and Lucas doesn’t suggest that Alexeyev is just being himself and becoming unhinged of his own accord. Lucas makes it perfectly clear that he comes to the opposite conclusion:

    “It could not be clearer to me that the Kremlin is up to its old tricks — and that somehow, it has gotten to Alexeyev.

    We can’t know for certain how exactly that happened. Perhaps he was threatened: Mizulina and another Duma member have brought criminal charges against him for nasty remarks he made on Twitter, and he was officially interrogated on August 14. (Mizulina, somewhat ominously, said that she hoped his punishment would be served ‘somewhere where he can’t be involved in gay propaganda, like in a morgue van.’)”

    Obviously, Lucas isn’t acting out some grudge against Alexeyev and trying to make him look bad; he places the blame squarely at the door of the Kremlin. My own observation concerns the tweet about Alexeyev’s mother:

    “If my 72yo mum dies because of @MichaelLucas NYC I will personally hire a contract killer to kill him. He will not get unpunished.”

    If the folks in the Kremlin think anyone is fooled by this oafish maneuver, they’re idiots. It couldn’t be more obvious that the Kremlin authorities authored that tweet so they could make Alexeyev nervous. The Kremlin is telling Alexeyev:

    “Hey, we can knock off your mother and make it look like a heart attack if you don’t let us be your new mouthpiece. We could even forge a distraught letter from mom complaining about the emotional shock of hearing about Lucas’ op ed article. So we’ll just take over your social networking accounts, and you’d better keep your mouth shut or say good bye to your mother.”

    It’s not just Lucas who is coming to this conclusion. Most other observers are as well, and their observations plaster the Internet and media wall-to-wall. Putin is clearly trying to destroy the Russian LGBT movement, and he has a perfect motive to do so in advance of the Sochi Olympics. He is obsessed with seeing that the Sochi Olympics go without a hitch, and most certainly without any protest from Russian citizens. To make Putin’s plans and motives even more obvious, he even forced a law through equating protests during January through March with terrorism. What this all means is that Masha Gessen is dead on target. Pressure and protest from outside Russia is crucial, and soon may even be the only possibility. LGBT activists in Russia are becoming the targets of a crude, heavy-handed Kremlin campaign to silence them. It may be worthwhile to review Masha Gessen’s recent interview again. She’s smart, and she’s definitely got Putin’s number:

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/all-in-/52823552#52823552

  • chris10858

    Does anyone know what reason the police gave to raid his apartment?

  • chris10858

    I wonder if the Russian government could have been secretly dosing him with some drugs to make him so loopy. It wouldn’t be the first time Russian government did something like that against someone who spoke out against them. Alexander Litvinenko being poisoned with Polonium comes to mind.

    Of course, perhaps also the strain of being persecuted by fellow Russians and the Russian government could have also caused him to have some sort of mental breakdown.

    Either way, I feel very bad for him as he has been a really brave hero in the fight for Russian LGBT community.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Islamophobia is racism. Using it is not a defense of islamists like the mad dog ayatollahs of Iran, it’s an attack on racists whether they’re fascists, rightwingers or zionists. It’s the one thing all those groups agree on.

    It’s racist because judging all people in Arab or muslims societies based on the actions of islamist homohaters, mysogynists and pogromists is unscientific and prejudiced.

    Racists and Islamophobes will tell us that islam is not a race. They’re right, but Islamophobia, the irrational hatred of Arabs and muslims is a form of racism.

    Islamophobia was used to justify the genocide in Bosnia and the US genocide in Iraq and to justify Obama’s mass murder of civilians in half a dozen other countries. Syria’s next on the chopping block.

    “United Nations Press Release Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s address to the Department of Public Information (DPI) seminar, “Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding”, in New York, today, 7 December 2004: “SECRETARY-GENERAL, ADDRESSING HEADQUARTERS SEMINAR ON CONFRONTING ISLAMOPHOBIA… But when the world is compelled to coin a new term to take account of increasingly widespread bigotry, that is a sad and troubling development. Such is the case with Islamophobia. … The word seems to have emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But the phenomenon dates back centuries. Today, the weight of history and the fallout of recent developments have left many Muslims around the world feeling aggrieved and misunderstood, concerned about the erosion of their rights and even fearing for their physical safety. So the title of this series is very appropriate: there is much to unlearn. There is a need to
    unlearn the stereotypes that have become so entrenched in so many minds and so much of the media. Islam is often seen as a monolith, when it is as diverse as any other tradition, with followers running the gamut from modernizers to traditionalists. … ”
    http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/sgsm9637.doc.htm

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yes.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Huh. I’m weirdly reminded of something that happened maybe a year or two ago…this may seem like an idle or frivolous comparison but here goes. Former world chess champion Boris Spassky, who since the late ’70s had been living in France and was a French citizen, suffered a stroke back in 2010 and was in therapy. In 2012 he abruptly left France and returned to Russia, telling the Russian newspapers that he’s supposedly been a virtual prisoner in France and regarded his return to Moscow as an escape from captivity. His sister claimed rather that he’d been more or less kidnapped from the hospital in Paris where he’d been undergoing treatment.

    It was all quite strange but perhaps not so mysterious. Spassky is old, his 2010 stroke wasn’t his first, and maybe he’d got crotchety and resentful of the necessity of being hospitalized. And there were family issues as well maybe. But…I dunno. There’s just enough alike in these two situations to make me think. You’ve got a guy going in almost no time from being apparently content with his situation in France (if Iraida Spasskaya is to be believed) to suddenly popping up back in Russia making weird statements to the press. Spassky is still greatly respected in the chess community, considered to be almost an ambassador for the game, and maybe Russia wanted him back after decades of self-exile. Who knows. Maybe this entire comparison of mine is stupid.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I’m so fucking tired of the term “Islamophobe” being thrown around so freely. Anyone who dares criticize the horrible practices in the Muslim countries is called that to try to shut them up. I’m not shutting up. Women, gays and everyone else deserve full rights everywhere. Culture and religion are no excuse for human rights abuses. I say that no matter what the culture or the religion is.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Ok that’s creepy

  • Strepsi

    Well we do know that slow poison is a favorite of the KGB.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_of_Alexander_Litvinenko

    Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko
    …”Subsequent investigations by British authorities into the circumstances of Litvinenko’s death led to serious diplomatic difficulties between the British and Russian governments. Unofficially, British authorities asserted that “we are 100% sure who administered the poison, where and how”, but they did not disclose their evidence in the interest of a future trial. The main suspect in the case, a former officer of the Russian Federal Protective Service (FSO), Andrei Lugovoy, remains in Russia. As a member of the Duma, he now enjoys immunity from prosecution. Before he was elected to the Duma, the British government tried to extradite him without success.”

  • Anonymous

    What’s extremely odd is that hours before this, he posted the opposite.

    “My dear friends, no police raids will dissuade us from further fight for equality in Russia! We are even more determined and united! Stay with us! We need your support! You can also donate to our efforts for GayRussia Fund at PayPal. Donate to moscowpride(at)yahoo.com We will surely need it as the pressure is getting stronger. Thanks to all for worries and support in this difficult times!”
    as well as the comment “They only make us stronger!”

  • Bill_Perdue

    It remains to be seen if Alekseyev is an anti-Semite or if he’s succumbed to FSB tricks or assaults. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Anonymous

    This is what he said yesterday on FB:

    “My 72 years old mum was in terrible condition yesterday after this pogrom in the flat. She has a pension of 400 USD per month. She lost her husband and my dad who died without any medical help from anyone here in Russia. Police even confiscated her old Dell computer. How can someone have no
    respect at least for her? I am totally outraged and shocked. You want me to stop all my activism? I will, no problem. I never got any money from anyone. I think you will find better activists. But to be called
    Putin’s envoy will be an insult to me, my mum and the remembrance of my dad. I am tired of that. You won. Fight for gay rights in Russia from anywhere in the world. I don’t want it anymore.”

  • Anonymous

    Exactly, he’s no better than Alexeyev, who he’s accusing of all kinds of prejudice.

  • Anonymous

    I really feel like he’s either been drugged or schizophrenic. This isn’t a normal level of craziness. It’s gotten worse in the last 12 hours.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Lucas is a racist and an Islamophobe. That informs everything he says.

    I’m concerned about the long history of disinformation campaigns against Alekseev and GayRussia. They’re similar to the attacks of Peter Tatchell after he went to Russia and denounced the RF leaders as bigots and pointed out that “As Peter Tatchell reported on earlier demonstrations in Moscow “We witnessed a high level of fraternisation and collusion between neo-Nazis and the Moscow police. I saw neo-Nazis leave and re-enter police buses parked on Tverskaya Street by City Hall. Our suspicion is that many of the neo-Nazis were actually plainclothes police officers, who did to us what their uniformed colleagues dared not do in front of the world’s media. Either that, or the police were actively facilitating the right-wing extremists
    with transport to the protest.”

    Both Alekseev and Tatchell are the subjects of FSB disinformation campaigns.

  • bandanajack

    if WE have a PSY-OPS branch of our covert forces, you can be damn sure the russians have one. too me it looks a lot what j edgar’s goon squad tried to do, with some success, to many of their targets, and i’m sure the kgb did as well. i doubt putin and his cronies have preserved the tactics.

  • tamarz

    I have to wonder if these are so over-the-top as a way of letting people know that he’s being coerced. I don’t really know anything about the guy — so this is just a wild guess.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    There’s a chance this is real and a chance it’s disinfo. But either way, Lucas’ piece is 100% verifiable, so while I already acknowledged his issues, they have no bearing on the accuracy of the concerns about Alexeyev.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Correct. Unless this is all one big phony campaign being run by the follow-on to the KGB, or Nikolai has lost it.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s both. He’s been threatened and lost his mind.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Putin, a former KGB Lt. Colonel, is now head of the FSB. “While the post-Soviet Russia is still a democracy, the elected officials are reinstating the surveillance and control capabilities their Soviet counterparts long relied on. The main vehicle for implementing this new police state is the FSB (the successor to the Cold War era Russian KGB). This organization is being given more and more of its Soviet era powers and personnel back. … What bothers many Russians is the ultimate purpose of the FSB. The KGB was known as the main protector of the Communist Party. The FSB is seen as the supporter of wealthy criminals who used their KGB connections and powers after the Soviet Union collapsed to grab ownership of many state owned assets. The current Russian government is acting more and more like the autocratic rulers Russia has suffered under for centuries. The FSB seems to act like the palace guard, not public servants.
    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htpara/articles/20121010.aspx

    This is an FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) Federal’naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii) disinformation campaign. There have been several launched against him and against Gay Russia. One was launched during his tour of the US organized by the Gay Liberation Network (http://www.gayliberation.net/home.html) and another by anti-marriage equality activist Yasmin Nair, who also attacked Peter Tatchell, alaiming that Tachell is a racist.

    Gay Russia ( http://www.gayrussia.eu/is an organization with groups in many cities who are planning an event at Scohi that deserves our support. )

    Lucas is a racist, an Islamophobe. He has no credentials in politics.

  • clarknt67

    Lucas’ piece was spot-on in detailing Nikolai’s bizarre behavior.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    He’s done great work, and put himself at physical risk many times, and he leaves a great legacy. But we need to know if he’s okay. Because if he is, he’s not okay.

  • ErnestMcLeod

    For those most familiar with Alexeyev’s past antics (which, true, were milder but of a piece with his behavior now), there is little question that he is acting as himself and not being coerced. (Those who suggest the latter tend to be people who don’t know him.) Clearly the Lucas piece, which is not inaccurate, pushed all his buttons. It is unfortunate that his personal issues have seemingly overtaken the positive aspects of his activism.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yeah, I’ve got it too, it’s all over the web. I don’t think it adds anything to the story – it only makes things more confusing, really, as it would tend to suggest he’s okay, so to speak.

  • Lthomas320

    JoeMyGod has a video on the raid of his apartment by security forces.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yes, same difference. The general point is that this is either him, and he’s done. Or they’ve done something to him.

  • http://heimaey.us/ jim morrissey

    He could also be being drugged.

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