Shortly after 9 p.m. on October 11, between 15 and 20 black-clad men wearing surgical masks ran into the 7 FreeDays Club, which was hosting a party organized by gay activists in celebration of National Coming Out Day. The attack took place several days after the People’s Council, a nationalist organization, said publicly that homosexuality is “a grave sin” and that it would try to close down gay clubs.
About 70 people were at the party when the attackers arrived and that the attackers had at least two guns, which may have been stun guns, and mace. They rushed into the premises screaming, “You wanted a pogrom? You wanted a fight? You got it!” and proceeded to destroy the club. They held the bartender at gunpoint, forced her face down on the floor, and started smashing the bar, breaking bottles and glasses over her head. They also smashed plates and glasses, overturned tables, and threw chairs and other objects directly at the guests.
“Russia’s leadership has stood by as regions have adopted blatantly homophobic laws,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “These laws cannot but encourage attacks like the one last night.”
An ambulance worker at the scene told a correspondent for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta that four people had head injuries and that two of them had to be hospitalized. Several others had bruises and other minor injuries.