A gay football fan has been sent to hospital with brain injuries after being beaten by two men for their sexual orientation in Saint Petersburg. The Frenchman, arriving into Russia with his boyfriend in excitement for the World Cup, landed in the country to help support his nation, but has been left with serious injuries after he was assaulted.
It's been a worry from day one. Russia, one of the most controversial countries on the planet, has consistently been criticised for its stance on all aspects of equality, and there have been plenty of threats towards homosexuality in the build-up to the tournament.
Well now, according to Telegram channel Operdrain (via Pink News), those threats have sadly come to fruition.
The victim, O. Davrius, is now in hospital, and tests have found that he has sustained a brain contusion and open craniocerebral injury, as well as an upper jaw fracture.
Fortunately, two men (both in their 20's) have been arrested for this disgusting attack, and are named as Ismet Gaidarov and Rasul Magomedov in the report.
Davrius and his partner were targeted in Saint Petersburg after catching a taxi together; their phones and money were also stolen during the vicious assault.
The shocking news comes only a day after Russian gay rights activist Anton Krasovsky warned football fans about the dangers for gay people in the country.
“‘I’m gay, and I’m just the same person as you, my dear audience, as President Putin, as Prime Minister Medvedev and the deputies of our Duma," he began.
“But what I’d also like to tell everyone is: don’t take a stand in public. It’s not safe.”