Vladislav Tornovoi
Vladislav Tornovoi

This is the young man tortured and then killed in a gruesome attack by thugs for being gay.

Vladislav Tornovoi, 23, was attacked by two men in the city of Volgograd, who mutilated his genitals and raped him with a beer bottle.

In an murder which has sparked outrage across Russia and overseas, the young man's face was smashed with a rock and was then set on fire.

Tornovoi was allegedly killed shortly after coming out as gay to friends during a boozy Victory Day celebration.

Two men aged 22 and 27-years-old - who were reportedly Tornovoi's friends, are under arrest on suspicion of killing him.

The first image of Tornovoi comes as gay rights activists condemned the Kremlin by claiming the government is an accomplice in his death for stigmatizing sexual minorities.

Laws which ban "homosexual propaganda" are set to come in to force soon under support from the Duma - the Russian parliament.

Campaigner Nikolai Alexeyev told the Moscow Times: "Political figures have provoked anti-gay sentiment by portraying the gay community as a bunch of freaks," Alexeyev said. "They are accomplices in the killing."

Prominent activist Nikolai Bayev also claimed President Vladimir Putin was an "accomplice" in the killing.

Writing on the GayRussia website, Bayev said: ""President Putin, crush the head of Vladislav Tornovoi! Strip him until he's naked. Break his ribs, beat his face and shove a bottle up his anus. Kill him, he's just a gay."

In the wake of Tornovoi's shocking death, an upcoming gay pride march in the capital city Moscow on May 25, could be dedicated to the young man by organisers.