BANGKOK – A Russian neo-Nazi named Maxim “Machete” Martsinkevich has fled Russia on charges of “extremism”, which face a two year prison sentence. The charge was filed after it was discovered that Martsinkevich had been filming the abuse of gay victims and posting the videos on VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook.
The victims in the videos all believed they were chatting to a gay teenager online, who was revealed to be Martsinkevich, and maybe several others. The aim of their deception was to lure vulnerable gay men to their apartment, and then proceed to film them in compromising positions.Anti-gay protesters disrupt the 2010 Moscow Pride Parade.
In a shocking 33-minute video, a terrified 20-year-old South African-Swazi student is stripped down, mocked about his skin colour and sexual orientation, and forced to imitate sex acts with a beer bottle, before a watermelon is smashed into the young man’s head. At one point he is forced to say “White Power”. He was later expelled from Belgorod University when he complained about the attack.
This has led to an outcry in the gay-friendly South Africa, where lawyers from the parliamentary capital Pretoria are demanding a full investigation into the attack. They have also accused Russia’s recent anti-gay law, known as the anti-propaganda law, as revealing the government’s approval of homophobia, and which sees people who commit hate crimes not at all concerned with concealing their identities.
In a public letter to Russia’s government, one South African attorney firm describes the perpetrators as “racist and anti-homosexual thugs” and also states “We are asking the minister to issue a travel warning to all South Africans who plan to travel to the Russian Federation, and for South Africans to boycott the 2014 Sochi Olympics”. When interviewed, one of the lawyers, Mr Coenraad Kukkuk, said, “I got a reply (via email) from the Russian ambassador that was just eight question marks.”
Today, Martsinkevich is believed to be hiding out on one of Thailand’s islands, according to a photo he posted to VKontakte where it appears he is on a Thai beach. He had previously spent three years in prison for manufacturing and selling videos containing torture scenes of homeless and Asian people. He was then a leader of the far-right extremist group Format18, which is suspected of murdering 600 immigrants. The number 18 in the group’s name is said to be a coded reference to Adolf Hitler, as A is the 1st and H is the 8th letter of the Latin alphabet. – City News