With city approval, some 150 LGBT activists staged a "Rainbow Flashmob" in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 17 in conjunction with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).
Organizers said it was the first time the city had "officially sanctioned" the event.
Anti-gay activists staged a smaller rally nearby. Police prevented them from making contact with the LGBT event.
Other IDAHO events were held in cities across Russia and worldwide.
In Moscow, meanwhile, city officials have rejected applications for the May 28 gay pride march, citing security concerns and a desire to protect minors.
Moscow Pride recently won a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that previous years' bans by then-Mayor Yuri Luzhkov violated the European Convention on Human Rights in the areas of freedom of assembly and association, right to an effective remedy and prohibition of discrimination.
Gays have marched or staged other public actions yearly since 2005 despite the bans. The small gatherings were attacked by anti-gay hooligans, picketed by religious protesters and broken up by police.