This incredible picture of a gay Russian couple has just won a major award

‘A modern-day Romeo and Juliet story’

This is a picture of Jon and Alex, a gay couple in Russia during a quiet moment.

And this incredibly initmate and atmospheric image won the World Press Photo of the Year 2014 today (12 February).

Photographed by Danish photographer Mads Nissen, it is part of a larger project called Homophobia In Russia highlighting what life is like for the LGBTI community under anti-gay laws.

He has said he sees the image, shot in St Petersburg, as a ‘modern-day Romeo and Juliet’ story about two people in love but facing outside forces who want to deny them that love.

‘Today, terrorists use graphic images for propaganda. We have to respond with something more subtle, intense and thoughtful,’ World Press Photo jury member Alessia Glaviano said in a statement.

Nissen won a €10,000 euro ($11,330) cash prize.

Please see here for further details.