MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) – A St. Petersburg court on Monday handed down a one-year suspended sentence to an Orthodox Christian activist who fired eye irritant at a gay rights campaigner during a rally in May.
Gleb Likhotkin, a leader of an anti-abortion movement and a campaigner against non-traditional sexual relations, attended a sanctioned rally in St. Petersburg to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17.
City prosecutors said in a statement that Likhotkin “took personal offense” at a pro-homosexuality slogan written on a balloon being carried by one of the activists.
He fired at least one cartridge of eye irritant at the balloon and then two shots at its carrier, who was trying to disarm him.
Likhotkin pleaded not guilty but was convicted of hooliganism.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.