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As many celebrated gay pride across the world, a peaceful protest for gay rights in Russia descended into violence as anti-gay protesters threw eggs, smoke flares and stones at the group of around 100 activists.
Police detained several people from both sides amid clashes in St Petersburg, according to a state-run news agency.
It comes two weeks after the parliament passed a bill banning what they label homosexual ‘propaganda’.
The ‘Equal Rights’ (Ravnopraviye) group had claimed the right to protest against the law in the Field of Mars as it requires no prior permission. Though a city official said the protest infringed a law effectively banning gay pride rallies.
The incident acts to highlight increasing hostility towards homosexuals in Russia.
A recent law was passed which restricts foreign gay couples from adopting Russian children.