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Russian Gay Activist Nikolai Alekseyev Resigns from Movement

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The combative hero of Russian gay activism, Nikolai Alekseyev, abruptly resigned from his two jobs within the movement last week.

34-year-old Nikolai Alekseyev has been called the ‘Harvey Milk’ of Russia. Since 2005, he’s been battling Moscow government officials to stage an officially sanctioned Gay Pride march. Every year they’ve refused, even after Alekseyev scored a major victory last year, when the European Court of Human Rights fined the government 40-thousand dollars for violating the LGBT community’s right to hold a peaceful demonstration. And when Alekseyev and his followers have marched anyway, police batons and attacks by right wing thugs have each year been the result.

Last year, Alekseyev reported being briefly kidnapped and pressured by his shadowy captors to withdraw the Human Rights complaint.

Even so, it was a surprise when Alekseyev announced by Facebook and Twitter on Friday that he was quitting as head of the Moscow Pride Organizing Committee and the group GayRussia-dot-R-U. In a follow-up email to UK-Gay-News, he wrote, “It is true that I am fed up, and that is why I decided to step down,” adding, “I also decided not to give any further comments on my decision.”

It’s unknown whether other controversies embroiling the volatile Alekseyev played a role. In March, a flap over allegedly anti-Semitic remarks Alekseyev posted on Facebook led to the cancellation of the Southern California leg of a U.S. speaking tour. And in May he stormed off the set of a live TV debate in Russia, complaining the host was slanting the show against him.

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