Two brave Russian men have filmed the shocking reactions of passers-by when they dared to walk through Moscow holding hands.
The men from Chebrussia TV decided to conduct the “social experiment” following the recent legalisation of same-sex marriage in America to see what response ordinary Russians would have to their very tame same-sex public affection.
They filmed the results from a hidden camera in a backpack carried by the person walking in front of them.
As the men strolled hand in hand around Moscow, including across the city’s famous Red Square, they were starred at, verbally abused, sworn at and at one point forcefully pushed out of the way.
Comments included: “Faggots”, “What’s going on with Russia”, and “Leave Russia.”
Towards the end of the video, the couple were again physically confronted by another man who violently walked into them, and appeared ready to escalate the attack.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993 in Russia, but anti-gay sentiment and violence has increased in recent years.
In June 2013, President Putin signed a federal law banning gay “propaganda” which has been used to restrict media freedom and music concerts, to ban gay Pride events and protests and has led to an increase in discrimination against LGBT people.
Lesbian and gay Russians have been attacked, tortured, murdered and fired from their jobs because of their sexuality. A 2013 global survey found that 74% of Russians believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society.