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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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).