Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
The founder of a Russian incel group with an estimated 150,000 members that promotes racist, sexist and homophobic rhetoric has been arrested for calling in fake bomb threats on a restaurant that used the LGBTQI flag and black models in an advert.
Vladislav Pozdnyakov is believed to be the founder and leader of ‘Male State’, a racist, sexist and ultra-nationalistic organisation that operates as a closed community on the Russian social network Vkontakte (VK).
Many members also consider themselves incels, people unable to get a romantic or sexual partner despite often wanting one.
The news site Lenta said Pozdnyakov was arrested yesterday (2nd September) while crossing the border into Azerbaijan.
His arrest is believed to have been carried out in connection with terrorism charges being brought against Male State for calling fake bomb threats on the Tanuki restaurant chain.
The Russian authorities received reports from Tanuki last Monday (30th August) that Male State had bombarded them with threatening emails demanding they remove all adverts that included black models and LGBTQI flags.
The arrest was confirmed in a post by Male State that read: “This is one of Vlad’s administrators. He was detained today while crossing the Azerbaijani border. I cannot give more information yet.”
According to reports, Pozdnyakov is known for using his followers, who reportedly refer to him as ‘Fuhrer’, to persecute women, minorities and members of the LGBTQI community in Russia based on an ideology of building a ‘National patriarchy’.
Local media said their ideology predicates that white men should hold all power in society while women should be treated as secondary citizens.
In 2018, Pozdnyakov was handed a two-year suspended sentence for incitement of hatred, but in 2019 the ruling was dropped when President Vladimir Putin reversed the article he was charged under.
The investigation is ongoing.