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Russian LGBT Activists March In "Rainbow May Day"

LGBT rights activists marched in St. Petersburg today despite an anti-LGBT politician's attempts to disrupt their protest.

Posted on May 1, 2015, at 4:25 p.m. ET

LGBT rights activists in St. Petersburg marched in the city's May Day parade today. May 1 is a public holiday in Russia and is traditionally marked by mass state-sanctioned demonstrations.

Olga Maltseva / AFP / Getty Images

St. Petersburg city councilman Vitaly Milonov, a driving force behind Russia's "gay propaganda" ban, showed up too.

He shouted anti-LGBT insults and waved the flag of Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Police barred him from approaching the marchers.

Activists handed out lollipops of Milonov's face, with a speech bubble reading "Don't suck in St. Petersburg!" — a knock at the councilman's campaign to legislate sexual morality.

This pink tank made an appearance.

Olga Maltseva / AFP / Getty Images

So did the flags of the European Union and Ukraine.

Olga Maltseva / AFP / Getty Images

"Our orientation — freedom!" marchers chanted.

The mood was buoyant.

Olga Maltseva / AFP / Getty Images

"Wonderful morning. Wonderful people. Wonderful rainbow May Day."

"Rainbow community, you are beautiful and you are not alone. Believe, love and never give up!"

"And this granny was with us."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.