Central Street in the dwelling settlement of Ilsky where the killed pensioners lived, Krasnodar Territory, 2019. Photo: Alina Desyatnichenko for the Caucasian Knot

16 February 2019, 16:45

Kuban residents support version of homophobia-based murder of fellow villagers

Two residents of the dwelling settlement of Ilsky were killed because of their sexual orientation, their fellow villagers are convinced. The fact that investigators have voiced out this version as one of the basic ones is a rare case, activists of the Russian LGBT Network have noted.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that this January, the bodies of two pensioners were found in Ilsky. The alleged killer was detained and confessed. Investigators treat homophobia as the priority version.

Rumours about homosexuality of pensioners from Proletarskaya Street have long circulated, said Ivan Nesterenko, a local resident. He is sure that their sexual orientation had caused the murder. "Many men from Ilsky were taken for questioning; and a young guy, aged 23, was detained for the murder. He himself was among Cossacks; his father was a Cossack. It is known that the Cossacks are very negative to non-traditional relations," Mr Nesterenko has concluded.

The fact that the police regards homophobia as one of the main versions is a rare case, said Svetlana Zakharova, a board member of the Russian LGBT Network. "In most cases, law enforcement bodies completely ignore the hate motives, even when criminals themselves openly declare these motives," Ms Zakharova told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Kuban (another name of the Krasnodar Territory by the name of the main river, – note of the "Caucasian Knot") is a particularly homophobic region, said the gays, who left the region after being bullied in their villages.

Ilya Shabaev, a former resident of the village of Severskaya, not far from Ilsky, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that in 2017 his family was forced to move to another region; and he himself had to emigrate after being subjected to systematic harassments and beatings.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 16, 2019 at 10:35 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Anna Gritsevich; Source: CK correspondent

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