A Russian neo-Nazi gang leader nicknamed "The Hatchet," best known for leading a group that filmed themselves violently humiliating and harassing young gay men, has been sentenced to five years in prison for making a video of himself beating and torturing a gay Iraqi man.
Maxim "Tesak" Martsinkevich ("Tesak" is Russian for "hatchet") has been active and infamous in Russia for years, but he's best known for founding "Occupy Pedophilia," a group that filmed themselves forcing gay men to drink urine, dumping it over their heads, threatening them with axes, and menacing them with large sex toys. All of it was done, Martsinkevich said in interviews, in the name of "curing" the men of their homosexuality. (Russia, as you probably recall, isn't the friendliest place to be gay: the country passed a law in 2013 banning gay "propaganda.")
Occupy Pedophilia posted dozens of disturbing videos (you can see some stills here, if you really want to ruin your night) but in November 2013, Martsinkevich abruptly fled Russia, posting on his website that he needed to take "an urgent vacation" to avoid being charged with extremism. The video that got him into trouble showed him beating a gay Iraqi man who he'd lured to an undisclosed location in Ukraine. Martsinevich claimed on video he'd gotten the man there by promising to let him have sex with a 15-year-old boy; instead he shaved the middle of his head, painted a rainbow on his scalp and a star of David on his chest, and forced him to make a "confession."
The neo-Nazi was arrested in Cuba in January of this year and extradited back to Russia, where he was convicted of making extremist statements, specifically ones that lead to"incitement of hatred or hostility and humiliation of human dignity." He wasn't tried or punished for the violently homophobic part of the attack. Martsinekvich previously served three years in prison, from 2007 to 2010, for "incitement to ethnic strife with the threat of the use of violence."
Nine other members of Occupy Pedophilia are reportedly awaiting trial as well. They're accused of a laundry list of bad things, including, according to LGBTQ nation, "organization of an extremist community and membership in an extremist community, beatings and other acts of violence, the threat of murder and causing grievous bodily harm, intentional infliction of moderate bodily harm, torture and robbery."
[Martsinkevich pictured in 2007; image by Sergey Ponomarev via AP]