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Was a St. Petersburg Journalist Brutally Killed for Being Gay?

It was transparent something was stirring with Dmitry Tsilikin.

There had been no news from the publisher given he had returned from a work outing to Riga on March 26. Calls, amicable media and text messages had all left unanswered for days.

Tsilikin, 54, a well-preserved slim male and one of St. Petersburg’s many distinguished song and theater critics, was not one to drop off the radar. He was a meticulous captious in everything he did, even when it came to responding to calls.

Concerns were mounting. On March 30, a day after deadline day, Tsilikin still hadn’t submitted his weekly mainstay to the Delovoi Peterburg newspaper. It was the first time in more than 8 years as a columnist that Tsilikin was late though explanation.

“Dima was the only chairman we have ever met whose mainstay always arrived on the dot,” says his editor Dmitry Grozny. “You could sync your watch by him.”

When, a day later, Tsilikin was a no-show at an critical opening opening at St. Petersburg’s famous Mariinsky Theater, an orchestra of alarm bells went off. Tsilikin’s crony Yelena Volgust remembers something Tsilikin had once pronounced in jest. “If we ever skip a deadline, it can meant customarily one thing — that I’m dead,” he had said. It valid an ominous prophecy.

That same evening, 5 days after Tsilikin vanished, military and relatives forced open the door of his unit on St. Petersburg’s Prospekt Nauki. They did not have to go far. Blood was dirty opposite the wall immediately confronting the door.

Tsilikin had posited to Volgust that his chosen genocide would be by poisoning; genocide would come instantly, he reasoned, “without time for reflection or hope.” When the moment came, however, that was a far cry from what happened. Evidence from the crime stage suggests he was stabbed mixed times with a large knife. The murderer had afterwards taken Tsilikin’s mobile phone and laptop and locked the door behind him, withdrawal the journalist trapped in his possess home to bleed to death. When military found him, Tsilikin had already been upheld for days.

Shock and Sorrow

On April 9, a sunny open afternoon, some 200 people collected at St. Petersburg’s Serafimovskoye tomb for Tsilikin’s burial. He was a well-known figure in these circles and his astonishing genocide has profoundly jarred the cultural elite. Many of those attending could hardly enclose their tears.

Tsilikin worked for eight years as an actor before rising to prominence as a self-taught song and theater censor and editor. From the early 1990s he worked at newspaper Chas Pik, a symbol of glasnost-era faith and growing media independence. He dabbled in television, operative as a presenter for cultural programs on the RTR radio channel and St. Petersburg’s Channel Five in the early 2000s, and was a contributor to prestigious Russian newspapers such as Kommersant and Vedomosti.

“In the 15 years that we knew him, Dima’s external coming hardly changed: he remained immature and ambitious,” says Dmitry Grozny, his editor at Delovoi Peterburg.

“He helped move about the Silver Age of Russian journalism,” pronounced distinguished literary censor Nikita Yeliseyev in a acknowledgment at the funeral. Speaking to The Moscow Times, Volgust, who worked underneath Tsilikin at Chas Pik for years, describes him as “an editor sent from God.”

Tsilikin’s enlightenment and acute mind sensory his pen. In his final examination before his death, he described a ballet being achieved at the Mariinsky as “a low-pitched coffin” and compared the choreographer’s work with the “the galvanizing of a corpse.”

His editor, Grozny, describes how Tsilikin had recently been denied accreditation for a opening at a St. Petersburg venue. “Have we turn a persona non grata?” Tsilikin had asked rhetorically in a review with Grozny.

While his pointy reviews done him a number of enemies, many of Tsilikin’s tighten acquaintances trust it was not his pointy words, though his passionate orientation, that led to his murder. They blamed rising homophobia in Russian multitude for formulating the conditions for  horrific crime, nonetheless few people would say so openly.


As good as being the cultural capital, St. Petersburg is also home to Vitaly Milonov, one of Russia’s many relentless anti-LGBT campaigners and co-author of the supposed happy promotion law, that went into force national in 2013.

The Kremlin’s subsidy of the law, that criminalizes the distribution of information on homosexuality in the closeness of children, has widely been criticized as lending legitimacy to widespread homophobic prejudice. And that influence runs deep: According to the eccentric Levada Center pollster, some-more than half of Russians consider happy people should be possibly “liquidated” or removed from society. That check was conducted in November 2015. Six months earlier, the pollster reported that 37 percent of respondents deliberate homosexuality a disease requiring treatment.

In some cases fanatic views are put into action. Between 2012 and 2014, the vigilante organisation Occupy Pedophilia infamously used amicable media and dating sites to lure happy men, whom they conflated with pedophiles, into meetings before move to attack and humiliate them on camera.

Though the group’s leader, Maxim “Tesak” Martsinkevich is now behind bars — on charges not associated to his anti-LGBT activities — many of those who participated in the attacks still travel free.

Boris Vishnevsky, a municipal lawmaker for the magnanimous Yabloko Party, was the only politician at Tsilikin’s funeral. He told The Moscow Times that “an atmosphere of hatred” towards LGBT communities is being “fueled” by government and goes though punishment. “This was not the first time that people are targeted for their passionate course and I fear it won’t be the last,” he said.

Facts and Rumor

In life, Tsilikin was famous for his comprehensive discreteness and never spoke about his private affairs — even with friends. Speaking to The Moscow Times, many of his friends were wavering to pronounce about his passionate orientation, deliberation it a form of betrayal, even after his death.

“Dima never gossiped. People’s private lives were totally off-limits,” says song censor Yuliya Bederova. She describes his privacy to open adult as a combination of his perspective of high enlightenment and his personality.

What we do know is that Tsilikin lived alone in a particularly minimalist prosaic with small seat and no other emblem solely for leafy potted plants. He frequency invited people to his home, heading some to wonder how his killer ever done it past the doorstep.

Almost a week after the gruesome find of Tsilikin’s corpse, investigators pronounced they had incarcerated Sergei Kosyrev, a 21-year-old tyro at St. Petersburg’s Hydrometeorological University.

After the so-called happy propoganda law was upheld in 2013, there have been countless clashes between LGBT activists and anti-gay protesters. At this Gay Pride eventuality in St. Petersburg in June 2013,  dozens of people were attacked.

Official reports by the internal bend of the Investigative Committee yield small detail. The story they tell is that Kosyrev and Tsilikin met online. On March 27, Kosyrev visited Tsilikin’s home where a fight ensued, during that Kosyrev regularly stabbed Tsilikin with a knife. Another matter pronounced Kosyrev had confessed to the crime during questioning.

Pictures of a sealed justice conference uncover a young male with waist-length brownish-red hair and pale skin with a large tattoo on his neck and wearing a Gothic-style t-shirt with a skeleton print. A VKontakte amicable media page reportedly belonging to Kosyrev offers some-more meaningful clues, with images of Japanese Samurai fighters, women in explicit poses and Nazi symbolism, including photographs of Adolf Hitler. One picture shows a picture of a Samurai helmet with the text: “Born to Kill.” Another picture says: “Knowing is half the story, the other is violence.”

What the official news does not answer is how Tsilikin, a man from the top echelons of St. Petersburg’s informative scene, could have come into contact with a black-metal partner with Nazi sympathies and ultra-right views.

According to the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid, Tsilikin met Kosyrev roughly dual years ago on a dating website. An acquaintance of Tsilikin’s, who declined to be named, told The Moscow Times that story was expected true. The acquaintance says it was famous Tsilikin used the Internet to contact other men.

The tabloid story reported that Kosyrev told investigators he famous the journalist immediately and was formulation to extort him. The equipment he reportedly brought with him — an automatic rifle, vast sport knife, gloves and fresh clothes — would, however, advise he had been on a goal to kill.

More justification that Tsilikin had turn the victim of a homophobic crime came when internal news website Fontanka cited an unidentified source in law coercion as observant that Kosyrev had asked to be addressed as the “Cleaner” during questioning, and that he had described his life as “a electioneer opposite a particular amicable group.”

He also reportedly cited the drummer for the black-metal organisation “Emperor,”Bard Eithun, as one of his purpose models. In the early 1990s Eithun was convicted for fatally stabbing a gay male in Lillehammer, Norway.

Kosyrev’s counsel Viktor Zamyslovsky told The Moscow Times the news reports were “total nonsense.” His customer had conjunction reliable nor denied his purpose in the murder, the lawyer said. He refused to disclose any serve information other than that Tsilikin and Kosyrev had, indeed, corresponded online and a psychiatric analysis of his customer was still pending.


Even if proven, it is expected that Tsilikin’s murder will never be legally famous as a homophobic killing.

Kosyrev is now confronting elementary murder charges, rather than “murder encouraged by hatred toward a specific amicable group.” It could make the difference between 6 years in prison or adult to a life sentence. According to Human Rights Watch’s Tanya Cooper, it is not odd for Russian law coercion to veil hatred crimes in this way. She cited “several dozens” of crimes targeted privately opposite LGBT people that have left unrecognized by the authorised system. These embody a 2013 conflict on gay rights romantic Dmitry Chizhevsky, that caused him to lose steer in one of his eyes.

Part of the problem is that it is adult to the justice to decide either or not those of a specific passionate course can be deliberate a “social group.” This customarily means crimes encouraged by homophobia are frequency personal as hatred crimes. “We’ve been battling for years to include passionate course and gender temperament as aggravating circumstances,” says heading happy rights romantic Nikolai Alexeyev.

With small still reliable about the exact resources of his aroused murder, Tsilikin’s tighten friends contend they are perplexing to find condolence in tragedy.

Tsilikin went to good heedfulness to contend his childish coming and practically hadn’t aged for years, his friends say. “He never wanted to become an old man,” says Bederova. “Now he’ll stay immature forever.”

Article source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/565761.html