Russian Gay Family in Controversial Ad Flees to Spain After Death Threats

A Russian lesbian family, who appeared in a controversial health food ad for a grocery chain, said that they have fled to Spain after facing online abuse and death threats.

The family consisting of mother Yuna, her daughters Mila and Alina, and Alina’s girlfriend Ksyusha, said that they were forced to leave Russia after they became the target of a hate campaign following their appearance in an ad by VkusVill.

“Unfortunately, due to the complicated situation with VkusVill, we have been left without work and without a home,” Mila wrote on Instagram.

“Right now, me and my family very much need to get settled in Barcelona. It’s a difficult time for us,” Mila further said.

According to BBC News, Yuma told Youtuber Karen Shainyan, who discusses LGBT issues on his channel, in an interview recorded before their departure that she was “most afraid” for her granddaughter.

“I was just knocked back by comments to my granddaughter, where some people wrote that they wanted to rape her, kill her, stab a child who is just sitting and smiling in the photograph,” Yuma said.

VkusVill pulled the ad after it received conservative backlash in Russia, where a 2013 law bans “gay propaganda,” and replaced it with one that featured a heterosexual family.

VkusVill issued a public apology last month for releasing the ad, saying that the ad “hurt the feelings of a large number of our customers, staff, partners, and suppliers.”

VkusVill further said that the ad was a “mistake, a manifestation of unprofessionalism of certain employees.”

Yuma said on Instagram that in Russia, “we’re denied the basic right to have a family” and that they moved to Spain “so that my daughter could marry her girlfriend.”

“We are safe, we are resting. We don’t have to hide our happiness to be a family,” Yuma said in Barcelona.

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