Police in St. Petersburg on Sunday detained several gay rights activists protesting the city's continued decision not to allow a Gay Pride parade.

The activists held individual pickets near the Hermitage Museum, according to the AP.

“Yes, I'm gay, and I have similar rights to other people,” Alexei Nazarov is quoted as saying.

Veterans of Russian Airborne Forces gathered in many Russian cities to mark the Airborne Forces Day on Sunday.

A group of former paratroopers confronted the activists and angrily tore up their posters.

“We will beat up all these gays,” one of them said, flexing his bicep for journalists.

Police detained three activists, even though one-person pickets do not require permission from authorities.

Yuri Gavrikov, who heads a gay rights group, was detained by police on his way to join the other activists.