Two lesbian teenagers have been hit by a train in an apparent double suicide.
A same-sex teenage couple in Russia have died in what’s believed to be a tragic double suicide.
Reports surfaced last week that the girls, both 17 years old, filmed themselves walking onto train tracks near the city of Bryukhovetskaya, where they shared a kiss before being hit by an oncoming train.
The video appeared on Nadia‘s Instagram, above a caption reading: “Finally I met my soulmate and finally I am happy.” Reports state that a song can be heard in the background, with lyrics that say: “Hello world, good morning, I believe you can hear me, I have something to say.”
Police told local Russian media that the traumatised train driver had tried desperately to stop the train before it made impact with the girls, using warning blasts and train whistles to deter the young women, to no avail.
Details on the young women, identified only as Nadia and Masha, are scant, but its believed the pair had kept their relationship a secret from friends and family – no doubt a consequence of the brutal, anti-LGBTQ climate that has grown in recent years, under Vladimir Putin’s presidency.
One of Masha’s friends, known only as Margarita, allegedly told the Russian media that Masha was a popular and friendly girl who had had boyfriends in the past. “We hung out together a lot, sitting in the park, having fun. Nadia was not so sociable; she was a rather uneasy character and had suicidal thoughts.”
While little is known about Masha and Nadia, and their relationship, its not hard to see how the deadly rise in abuse, discrimination and state-sanctioned violence against Russia’s LGBTQ people might be behind their shocking, premature deaths.
Russian nationals have been suffering a vicious crackdown since 2013, when the Gay Propaganda bill was passed.
The bill purports to ban the “promotion of LGBT lifestyles to minors” but is being used to systematically quash LGBTQ rights and progress – a rule that extends not just to Russian nationals but also visitors, as the world discovered ahead of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, when visitors were warned that foreigners engaging in “pro-gay” activity (kissing, holding hands, wearing a rainbow flag) could be fined, arrested, detained for up to 15 days and deported.
Protests, including displays of solidarity from high-profile stars such as Tilda Swinton, resulted in action from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who introduced a specific anti-discrimination clause to all host city contracts.