An image of two Russian women sharing a kiss on board a flight has gone viral – thanks to the presence of a somewhat unassuming man in the background.
Not just any man – for this unwitting photobomber happened to be notoriously homophobic politician Vitaly Milonov, the architect of Russia’s infamous anti-LGBT laws which were hastily approved ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
One of the women, identified as Kseniya, explained they were on a flight from Moscow to St Petersberg, captioning the picture: “Who’s that in the background??? MILONOV! And we don’t give a fuck! We’re flying to our club, Infinity.”
The Moscow Times [which once featured a column describing Milonov a "homophobic freak"] reports Milonov confirmed his presence on the plane to FlashNord news agency.
Milonov has publicly uttered such statements that gays “rape kids” and that the violence experienced by gay people is “fake information” and “a foolish story”.
Speaking outside Russia’s Queer Fest Film Festival in 2013, Milonov also pressed the absurd point: “I think that much violence goes from gay people to straight people. Much more violence.”
Russia’s “gay propaganda” ban was enacted in June 2013 and essentially bans displays of homosexuality. It is also “illegal to spread information about non-traditional sexual behaviour” to minors (under 18s).
Signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, the legislation gives the Russian government the right to detail gay or “pro-gay” foreigners up to 14 days before facing expulsion from the country.