The Ukrainian capital’s Pride event has been marred by violence towards LGBT activists repeatedly over the past decade, but thanks to a heavy police presence the march went ahead without incident in 2016 and 2017.
The march attracted more than 5000 LGBT activists, who braved threats of violence from nationalists to turn up and celebrate LGBT equality.
The only hitch came when a group of 150 far-right protesters, including members of alleged ‘neo-Nazi’ group C14, attempted to block the parade route.
However, the city’s police forces quickly surrounded the anti-LGBT protesters and managed to restrain them after violent altercations.
Police confirmed: “Several men who resisted and used gas canisters against law enforcement officers were detained.”
Kiev Pride organisers say that 2500 police officers were provided to secure the march.
The event was joined by several Ukrainian MPs, including lana Zalishchuk, Serhiy Leshchenko and Oleksiy Mushak, as well as overseas politicians including ambassadors and German government minister Michael Roth.
LGBT rights have come to the fore in Ukraine as the country seeks closer ties with the European Union in the wake of its 2014 revolution.
It has largely liberalised on the issue, ending years of state-sanctioned violence and oppression towards the Pride march, though any concrete reform on equal rights remains a distant possibility.
I think this should be something that each country should consider, to proactively support each of its society rights. Because everyone deserves to be treated equally.