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Siberian Teenagers Assaulted Over Unconventional Hairstyles

Two teenage girls in Siberia were hospitalized after a young man assaulted them over their unconventional hairstyles, local media in the Krasnoyarsk region reported Monday.

Security camera footage in the town of Minusinsk showed the young man approaching and punching one of the girls seated at a cafeteria table. Her friend, who is then seen attempting to stop him from leaving, is also punched in the face.

According to the Vzglyad Info news outlet, the conflict broke out when the 16-year-old boy and his older friend confronted the girls, both students at a nearby art school, over their short hairstyles, one of which was dyed blue.

“When asked if they were boys or girls, they replied that it was none of their business,” the outlet wrote, citing the mother of 17-year-old Arina, one of the victims.

The other victim was not identified.

Both girls were reportedly hospitalized with concussions, while one of them suffered a broken nose and cheekbone.

The Sunday evening assault came amid a sharp conservative turn by Russia’s leadership that has accelerated since the invasion of Ukraine and months after the country banned the so-called “international LGBT public movement” as “extremist.”

“I don’t think we deserved this just because of our appearance,” one of the victims said in a video from a hospital bed published by Vzglyad Info.

“I fear for the other teenagers who live in the same city and the same world as these people,” she added.

Police have launched a criminal battery case, a local prosecutor told Vzglyad Info, adding that authorities may upgrade the charges following a medical examination.

The prosecutor said the 16-year-old assailant’s identity had been established but did not say whether he had been detained.

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