A horrific (and terrific) documentary (try this link, if the previous doesn’t work) from Liz McKean of the UK’s channel 4, called “Hunted,” looks at anti-gay vigilante gangs in Russia, and the overall Russian religious right anti-gay movement.
Channel 4 literally got inside an anti-gay Russian vigilante group, and filmed them planning and executing a kidnapping of a gay youth in St. Petersburg, Russia. There are certainly some ethical issues surrounding what Channel 4 did. But it’s an important video, and a necessary one, that might finally break this long-ignored story wide open.
UPDATE: Read part 2 of this story, “How Russian neo-Nazi anti-gay kidnappers are using Facebook, Instagram and VK.com.”
The video is beyond horrific. In this small segment, above, the young man is punched repeatedly in a room full of 13 men and one woman named Katya. She’s the ringleader, and a vicious sadist who revels in directing the kidnappings and interrogating the victims herself.
I want to know who Katya is. I want her full name, and more. If anyone knows, please contact me. (We have her name now – I’ll be following up on this in my next post. But please keep trying to find the full names of the other members of her criminal conspiracy.)
We’ve written about these groups before. I’ll go into it in much more detail below, but in a nutshell, they lure young gays, usually teens, into meeting with someone for a date (or for fooling around), the teen shows up at an apartment and are greeted by a group of men who then kidnap and torture them, sometimes pouring urine on them or raping them with objects. They film the assault and then publish it online to out the person to the world, which is a disaster for most of these people.
The biggest network is called Occupy Pedophilia (gays and pedophiles are the same thing to these people). It has cells in 30 cities across Russia, and the Russian authorities did nothing for a year and a half until CNN finally did a show about it, and the Russians reluctantly arrested the group’s leader for something else totally unrelated to the kidnappings. Except they refused to arrest anyone else involved with the group, even though there are videos of the committing the crimes, so the group lives on, and keeps kidnapping gay youth.
Russian “family values” leader tells gays to go kill themselves
But before I get to the kidnapping, the documentary starts with a Russian family values leader named Timor, who runs a group called “Parents of Russia.” Timor talks about how he attends gay events and pretends to be someone working with the event, handing out goodie bags. In fact, the bags contain soap-on-a-rope, and a card urging the gay person to go kill themself.
Here’s one of Timor’s accomplices. He tells the event attendees that he’s with the event and hands them the noxious gift bag:
At the same time, Timor and his friends hang outside the entrance to the gay event and yell at any women who are attending, telling them they’ll gladly give them “heterosexual therapy.” Timor’s friend then say that he thinks gays should be hanged and burned. This is what counts as a “family values” group in Russia. And America’s religious right is actually helping Russian anti-gay groups organize to become even stronger.
Then the family values group appears to call in a bomb scare to the police.
Timor, who lives near St. Petersburg, hints at about 7:40 into the video that his people called in the bomb scare.
Why is this man not in jail? That question is a recurring theme in Russia, where only dissidents it seems ever end up in jail.
And for the record, Timor, like his American counterparts, doesn’t come across as the biggest heterosexual you’ve ever met (check out Timor clapping his hands about 7:48 into the video).
Dima loses an eye
The documentary also tell the story of Dima, who was attacked at a gay event in St. Petersburg, and lost an eye as a result. No arrests have been made.
The Russian Orthodox church plays its part
They also interview members of the Russian Orthodox church clergy, who are helping to sow the seeds of hate:
“Occupy Pedophilia” and the far-right vigilantes who kidnap gay youth
Then they meet with a representative of Human Rights Watch, who is monitoring the situation in Russia, and she shows a video of a young gay man kicked in the face and falling to the ground unconscious. It’s at 17:20 in the video. Oh, and they’ve got the faces of the guys who did it. (Guess who’s not in jail?)
The HRW rep shows another video of a man in Novosibirsk, outside, naked, hands tied behind his back, with a gun to his head, forced to say to the camera that he’s gay, and then they force him to rape himself with a bottle.
HRW says that the Russian authorities have refused to condemn the attacks, so the attackers think their actions are sanctioned by the government.
The documentary filmmakers were also able to get inside the largest group coordinating many of these attacks, Russia’s anti-gay ultra-nationalist vigilante group called “Occupy Pedophilia.” The group was formed at least 18 months ago, as we’ve reported earlier, and the Russian government has done nothing about their ongoing kidnapping and torture of gay teens. Only after CNN reported on the group and its leader, Maxim Martsinkevich, a few weeks ago did the Russian government finally arrest him.
Katya and “Occupy Pedophilia – St. Petersburg” take us inside the kidnapping and torture of a gay youth
The woman with the red hair below is Katya. She heads up Occupy Pedophilia’s St. Petersburg branch (the network is active in over 30 Russian cities). It’s a wonder Katya is not in jail, as Katya is a vicious sadist who revels in directing the kidnapping of young gay Russians, and then interrogating the victims herself. You’ll see more Katya in action in a moment.
Below, Katya meets with a few members of her cabal to plan the next kidnapping:
These animals actually let the UK film crew film there. Here are a few of the members of the conspiracy preparing to trick a young gay teen into coming over to an apartment, so they can kidnap him and film their interrogation:
You have to consider how bad the rule of law is in Russia for these people to be willing to show their faces.
At 22 minutes into the film, they lure a young gay teen to their apartment, thinking he’s coming to hook up with another guy – instead he’ll find the gang ready to assault him. At 23:30 they catch their prey and a group of them forcibly subdue him, while Katya gives orders. There are 13 men among the kidnappers.
Below is another view of the scene, mid-kidnapping. You can see Katya and a few of the other faces from earlier. They lowered the lights and told the UK cameraman not to film, but he pushed his way in and filmed anyway. The images were dark, but I’ve lightened them with Photoshop so you can see the face of the criminals in action:
You can hear the muffled victim, his mouth either gagged or covered by someone’s hands, while the 13 men subdue him like an animal. The victim starts to cry and scream while muffled.
Throughout the entire kidnapping, Katya is barking orders to the co-conspirators.
Then at 25:22 you hear and see the man in the middle, in the white sweater, holding the victim down and beating him. Note that, again, it’s easy to identify the various perps from the photos. If the Russians wanted to, they could easily arrest all of these people. But they don’t, because Russia isn’t a modern, developed, civilized country with any rule of law.
Katya makes the mistake of identifying the one in white as “Sergei.”
I made an animated gif of Sergei repeatedly punching the victim while the other conspirators mill about drinking and enjoying themselves, and while Katya continues to giving orders, including finally telling Sergei to perhaps go a bit lighter on the guy he’s punching:
You can find this scene at 25:20 into the video.
You then realize that they’re going to keep punching him until he agrees to do an interview on camera that they will then likely post on Russian social media site VK.com.
They tell the victim that if he doesn’t consent to be interviewed they’ll turn him over to the police where he’ll be raped with a stick:
Tell me again why Katya and Sergei aren’t in jail?
More shots during the kidnapping (the least I can do is expose them):
Katya continues to choreograph the entire crime, barking orders ever few moments. More kidnapper cameos:
The victim is now, Katya reports, “hysterical and crying.” She’s getting into her element now.
Not surprisingly, Katya runs the interrogation, while they mock the young man and call him “faggot” repeatedly in Russian:
This pig, below, filmed the entire scene. In the background you hear a struggle and the muffled cries of the victim:
Katya then warns the victim that the journalists are going to leave soon, and the 13 boys are going to do far worse to him.
Katya then admits that she’s committed this crime a number of times previously.
Katya then asks the victim if he’ll lose his job if they publish the video they’re making of him, and everyone finds out he’s gay. He says yes, and they all laugh at him:
They then discuss whether to pour urine on the victim’s head. It’s a common “therapy” these groups use to “cure” gays they’ve kidnapped. Katya decides she’s bored, so they force the young man to dance around the room instead. They finally let him go after an hour, but as reporter McKean notes, the victim knows that his video is going up online, so he’s going to be outed.
This is torture
This is torture. It is one of the most disgusting and infuriating things that I have ever witnessed. But what this video shows is that Occupy Pedophilia was not simply one man. The branches in the rest of Russia are real, and they’re participating in regular human rights abuses, with impunity.
The rest of the video, thankfully, looks at some amazing gay advocates in St. Petersburg, and their ongoing efforts to protest in a country that has banned protest.
America has its problems, but our government doesn’t collude with ultra-nationalist groups that kidnap and torture kids. Perhaps the two Yale law professors, and a certain DC-based gay blogger, should watch this video before they post more stories about the equivalence between homophobia in America and homophobia in this Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The fact that this Katya demon isn’t in jail attests to the fact that Russia under Putin is just as backwards as it was under the Soviets. This is not Europe. This is not a modern country. And I can’t imagine why anyone tourist, or business, would want to have anything to do with the place.