Maxim Kupreev

There are reports that a gay flight attendant has been ordered by leading Russian airline Aeroflot to marry a woman or face losing his job.

According to, 25-year-old Maxim Kupreev was forced by the company to marry his female high school friend, Sofia Mikhailova.

This followed his attempts to organise gay Aeroflot employees to lobby for equal rights in the company.

Bizarrely, it’s been claimed that Mikhailova was already married and divorced her husband in order to marry Kupreev.

LGBT activists said that they plan to hold a protest against Aeroflot’s anti-gay policies outside its Moscow offices on 9 February.

Nikolai Alexeyev, the founder of Moscow Pride, said that the “action will be on a very symbolic day – it is the birthday not only of Russian civil aviation, but also of Aeroflot. This is the perfect day to draw attention to their discriminatory policies.”

Organisers have given notice of the protest to Moscow authorities but said that they will go ahead with the rally even if they do not get permission to hold the event.

The city of Moscow has repeatedly refused to allow gay Pride events to take place in the city, despite being slammed by the European Court of Human Rights for violating the right to freedom of assembly.

City authorities have justified the ban by citing security concerns, negative public opinion and even claims that children would be psychologically damaged if they witnessed the event.

Moscow’s former mayor previously described gay Pride parades as “satanic” and there are plans to outlaw the “promotion of homosexuality” in the city and the rest of Russia.

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