Earlier this month, a Russian sushi delivery chain released an ad featuring a Black man and three white women enjoying some sushi. After weeks of pressure from the "Male State" hate group, it pulled the ad and issued an apology for offending the "Russian people," reports the Moscow Times. Konstantin Zimen, co-founder of the YobiDoyobi chain, said there had been an onslaught of threats and abuse from the group's followers, who had filled review sites with negative reviews and shared the social media profiles of the women who appeared in the ad. "We have removed all the content that caused this commotion," the company said.
Male State, founded by bodybuilder Vladislav Pozdnyakov in 2016, describes its ideology as "national patriarchy." It is one of several such groups "whose targets include feminists, gay activists, women who work in the porn industry, and those who dare to have romantic partners who are not ethnic Russians," and many suspect it has ties to Russian authorities, the Economist reports.
In July, Pozdnikov led a hate campaign against a Russian woman whose Nigerian husband drowned after rescuing a swimmer at a Kaliningrad beach, reports the Times. Earlier this month, a family with two members in same-sex relationships fled Russia after they appeared in an ad for a health-food store and received numerous death threats, including some against an 8-year-old daughter who did not appear in the ad with her lesbian relatives, RadioFreeEurope reports. The VkusVill chain apologized for the ad and replaced it with one featuring a traditional family. (Read more Russia stories.)