Nikolai Alekseev, considered the face of the gay rights movement in Russia, has suddenly stepped down as chief organizer of Moscow Pride, UK gay site reported.

In a Facebook post, Alekseev (sometimes spelled Alexeyev) wrote: “Dear friends … today on 21 October 2011, one year anniversary of the European Court of Human Rights verdict in the case of illegality of Moscow Pride bans, I decided to resign from the positions of the head of Russian LGBT Human Rights Project and head of Moscow Pride Organizing Committee. From midnight 21 October 2011 in Moscow and up to the decision on the new leadership, Project will be headed by Nikolay Baev and Moscow Pride Organizing Committee by Alexander Naumchik.”

Alekseev confirmed his decision to the site. “It is true that I am fed up, and that is why I decided to step down,” he wrote in an email. “I also decided not to give any further comments on my decision.”

Nikolai Baev said the decision was “totally personal.”

“He just decided to change his activity in life style, and he has a full right to this,” he said.

Alekseev's bold style and confrontational personality had won him admirers and critics.