A man has been killed in what is being reported as a possible homophobic attack in the southern Russian city of Volgograd, early on Friday morning.

The 23-year-old man who has not yet been named was found dead in the courtyard of an apartment building. His wounds included multiple stab wounds including some in the genital area, the federal Investigative Committee said on Saturday.

Reuters is reporting that, a 22-year-old acquaintance of the victim and a 27-year-old ex-convict had been detained on suspicion of murder.

Andrei Gapchenko, who is investigating the killing, said the victim had been drinking with the two men – who then attacked him after revealing his sexuality.

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Leading gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev said a bill to outlaw spreading “homosexual propaganda” among minors, given preliminary approval by parliament in January, would make Russians less likely to fear consequences for attacking gays.

“This monstrous incident in Volgograd demonstrates the fruits of the homophobic policy that is being conducted in this country, including the initiative to ban homosexual propaganda,” Interfax news agency quoted Alexeyev as saying.