The influencer was often on the receiving end of abuse for being proudly gay.
Russian influencer Ali Zabirov, who went by the name of Egor Gromov, has been found murdered in a friend’s house, he was only 23 years old. Egor regularly received homophobic abuse from trolls as he was unashamedly himself.
Egor’s body was discovered by Russian police in a flat of a friend, aged 46, on 2 August in St. Petersburg. His body showed signs of a violent death, including bruising around his neck, indicating that he’d been strangled.
The Daily Star reports that police currently believe that the owner of the flat beat Egor to death after Egor attempted to come onto him following a night out. The man, who denies murder and claims that he may have died from a drug overdose, is currently in custody in pre-trial detention.
Footage of him in interrogation was shared on the 5TV news channel, where he said: “I tried to wake him up. I called the police myself. What could I do? If I knew that he was going to die here, would I let him in or what?”
The investigation into Egor’s death is ongoing.
Russia has some of the, if not the, worst LGBTQ rights in the developed world. In 2013, a ‘gay propaganda’ rule was signed into effect by Vladimir Putin, and it banned the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual orientations to minors.
Under the law, a Calvin Klein advert was banned, there were calls to ban the game FIFA 17, and the Warwick Rowers naked calendar was banned. The law has also banned a website that ran articles on LGBTQ-related health issues, including HIV/AIDS.
Last year, a queer Russian teenager was viciously assaulted by a group of seven men, resulting in her getting hopitalised with a concussion, and requiring stitches to the side of her mouth. The attack on her was so violent, that she was left without memory of the attack, and friends had to explain what happened.
A study from earlier this year found that nearly one in five Russians advocated for “eliminating” the LGBTQ+ community from society, and nearly a third of Russians advocated for isolating the LGBTQ+ community from society.
Elsewhere, in self-governed Russian state Chechnya, gay people have been rounded up and held in modern-day concentration camps, with many of them tortured for information and some even beaten to death.
Also worryingly, violent anti-LGBTQ+ activists in Russia, linked to a SAW-themed website which promoted anti-LGBTQ+ violence, are planning to spread across Europe. In an email sent to Svetlana Zakharova, the group set out plans to expand to Warsaw, Ostrava, Berlin, Kharkov and Arnhem.
Part of the email said: “The main activity of the organisation will be the regulation of LGBT activism in Europe.”