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Dagestan Man Caught in Gay Entrapment Scheme Flees Russia – Activists

USSRboy (Matvey Volodin). Social media

A gay Dagestani man has fled Russia after getting caught in the local police force’s entrapment scheme involving a porn blogger, the North Caucasus LGBTQ+ rights group SK SOS announced Monday.

Police in the republic of Dagestan had lured the blogger Matvey Volodin, who performs under the name USSRboy, from Moscow to the majority Muslim republic in late May, SK SOS previously reported. 

Volodin was arrested, beaten and forced to ensnare local gay men, presumably to expose “an entire network” of LGBTQ+ people in the republic of Dagestan.

SK SOS said one of the men, who is referred to by the pseudonym “Yusuf” for security reasons, was arrested in early June after police found his contact details in another ensnared man’s phone.

Authorities interrogated Yusuf about his contacts with Volodin and released him after not being able to establish a link, according to SK SOS. They forced Yusuf to promise on camera that he would also assist them in ensnaring other gay men in Dagestan.

“An officer said I would be more profitable and easy to work with since I’m known in the [LGBTQ+] community, they trust me and would meet me,” the group quoted “Yusuf” as saying.

Instead, Yusuf contacted SK SOS’ crisis center after being released and left Russia for an undisclosed country with its help.

“It was difficult to decide to part with home. But anything could happen, I left in fear that they would take me away again,” the group quoted Yusuf as saying.

“I’d never in my life be able to do such a thing as serve as bait for gays and even more so for my friends to get hurt.”

Russia's Supreme Court designated the so-called "international LGBT movement," which does not formally exist, as a banned extremist group in November 2023.

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