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Russian activist Nikolai Alekseev, porn mogul Michael Lucas go head to head over LGBT rights

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Perhaps Russia's best-known gay activist, Nikolai Alekseev this week infuriated many American LGBT leaders and allies with anti-Semitic Facebook comments.

"I warn American Jewish mafia that you will get zero results in Russia! Russians on the ground who hate your methods will win their fight!" Alekseev (Alexeyev) posted Sept. 2 on Facebook.

"Tomorrow and around the world the protest at Russian diplomatic missions will be held under [British gay activist] Peter Tatchell's slogan 'Love Russia. Hate homophobia'. We suggest another one - 'Love Jews. Hate yids (kikes)!'," Alekseev posted the next day.

"Jids are pissed. It's not them who suffered for LGBT fight in Russia for a decade. But on the Olympics wave they thought they can overtake it! No way!" he later posted.

Alekseev, 35, who hopes to have a sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in an interview this week he is not anti-Semitic and that his work on behalf of the LGBT community in Russia is being undermined by gays in America.

"I do not understand what the big deal? They are trying to seize power in Russia - the power of the LGBT movement," he said, adding that American boycotts of Russian products will not change anti-gay attitudes in Russia. "I do not do what they want. I do not support their methods - the boycott of the Olympic Games in Sochi, absolutely absurd boycott of vodka. They operate their own methods, which we have to accept and act the way they should. But we will not!"

Russian-American porn mogul Michael Lucas, who is Jewish, has become one of Alekseev's biggest critics.

In August, Lucas wrote a scathing commentary of Alekseev published on Out.com, calling the Russian activist "The Kremlin’s New Pocket Gay."

"Among the crazy things he wrote was that he was going to kill me," Lucas told the Miami Herald. "That doesn’t mean we’ll have a dialog. I will never have a dialog with someone like this. What’s the point in my talking to him."

Lucas, who left Russia after earning a law degree in 1994, said there are many outstanding LGBT activists in Russia, but that Alekseev thrust himself into the spotlight.

"There are great people there. They have enough activists. The thing they were all complaining about is that he, somehow, got all the attention of the Western media by pushing himself, very successfully, as the leader," Lucas said. "Somehow he could get all the attention for himself and take all the credit for himself."

Lucas explains why he and other LGBT activists are calling for a world boycott of the 2014 Olympics in Russia:

"Realistically, is that a boycott can’t happen. Anything can happen if there is a will, but it’s very unlikely," Lucas said. "We’re calling for a boycott because it gives us a lot of media coverage that sheds a light on Russia. It keeps it in constant focus. It’s not because we believe that a boycott of vodka will hit Russian pockets. It absolutely will not."

Lucas said he left Russia because "I decided I don’t want to fight the fight there."

"I want to lead my life," Lucas said. "I understood that fighting the fight in Russia is pointless because people are way too dark. Not just old-fashioned, but dark and very cruel."

Lucas said Alekseev's comments about Jews reflect the feelings of many people in Russia.

"I believe the Russian people are anti-Semitic, period. It doesn't’ matter if they are gay or not gay."

Alekseev's response to Lucas' criticisms: "Wanna fuck@MichaelLucasNYC in the ass," he posted Thursday on Facebook.

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Are you sure Nikolai Alekseev represents gays in Russia? I thought he represented Twinkies

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