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Kyiv Prepares for Ukraine Capital’s First Gay Pride March Since Russian Invasion

Organizers of the Kyiv Pride March announced Thursday that the first gay pride event will take place on June 16 in the Ukrainian capital since the start of the Russian invasion.

of Kyiv Independent report The event will have “strict security measures” in place, and most notably, only the 500 registered participants will know the time and place of the march’s beginning.

“The march will be held near evacuation shelters in case an air alert is issued,” it said. Kyiv Independent “The NBA is looking to expand on the partnership,” he said, sharing one of the few details that have been made public.

The Kiev subway was initially proposed as a location for the protests, but the city council refused permission, citing security concerns. Kiev city hall explained that the subway is a “dual-use facility and part of the city’s infrastructure,” one of its uses being to act as a bomb shelter in the event of a Russian attack.

This year’s march will be themed “United for Equality and Victory” and will focus on the gay community in the Ukrainian military, according to Anna Shalykhina, Kyiv Pride’s director.

“We have a strong community of LGBTQ+ servicemen. Not all of them are open, but those who are will take part in the march. And we want to show Ukrainian people and the world that there are LGBTQ+ servicemen in Ukraine too,” Shalykhina said.

Kyiv Pride held The company announced that a march planned for June 2022 in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, would be integrated into the city’s gay pride event. Organizers of Kyiv Pride said martial law imposed after the Russian invasion had made it difficult to hold large public events in Ukraine.

The July 2023 march held It was also held in Liverpool, England, and was integrated into the city’s planned gay pride events.

“LGBT+ people are a global community, which is why it’s so important to ‘shout out’ in solidarity with LGBT+ people around the world,” Andy Herring, chief executive of Liverpool City Region Pride Foundation, said at the time.

Ukrainian LGBT activists frequently warn that the fate of Ukraine’s gay citizens would be dire if Russia took control of the country, given the Russian government’s strong anti-homosexuality stance.

Supreme Court of Russia Domination In November, Russia passed a bill that states LGBT activists should be considered “extremists,” effectively banning the “international LGBT social movement” in the country. Russia also bans sex-change operations and the open promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relationships.

united nations Said Although the Russian Supreme Court’s ruling “significantly distances the Russian Federation from its obligation to promote and protect the human rights of all people,” the condemnation appears to have had no impact in Moscow. It is the first time that an LGBT activist has been convicted in Russia for “displaying symbols of an extremist organization.” Inherited During February.

Ukraine is not particularly liberal on gay rights by Western standards, but most LGBT activists viewed it as less hostile than Russia even before the invasion, and the participation of LGBT soldiers in the defense against the Russian invasion has led to criticism. Recommended Goodwill towards the gay community.

On Friday, Russian state news agency TASS report About 100 Kiev residents gathered at City Hall to protest plans for the Kiev Pride Parade. According to TASS, the demonstrators were “mostly young people carrying banners against the LGBT parade and in support of traditional values.”

Before the Russian invasion, gay pride parades in Kiev were frequent. Delegated Scuffles broke out between protesters and counter-protesters, with both sides expressing dissatisfaction with the police’s handling of the unrest – perhaps one of the reasons details of upcoming marches are being kept secret until the last minute.

Around 7,000 people took part in the final march before the 2021 Russian invasion. More orderly The 2020 protests were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, although hundreds of opponents held their own demonstrations.

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