Ukraine: Assault on Kiev Pride

Kiev Pride organizers had been in negotiations with police for a month. According to the event’s executive director, Anna Sharygina, in the days leading up to the march they were meeting daily—still, the police would give no promises. Late into the night, the organizers were making contingency plans for “what we would do if we showed up and there were three cops there,” Sharygina told me. When they showed up, they found several buses full of police in riot gear—but also a number of young men and at least one woman wearing black T-shirts with the logo of Right Sector, the ultranationalist coalition that had threatened violence.

“Right now, during the war with Moscow,” the Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh wrote on his Facebook page on the eve of the march, we “will be forced to be distracted from other things in order to stop those who hate the family, break morals, and destroy morality and the traditional concepts of humankind.” He went on to say that the West is exercising too much influence over Ukraine “in order to force them to introduce the ideology of LGBT people.” 

During the event, at least a dozen people were injured, including police, and more than 20 others arrested as scuffles broke out between members of a rare Ukrainian gay pride march and their nationalist opponents.  Read More