Kiev Pride March Attacked Despite President’s Historic Choice to Support

AP Photo/Vladimir Donsov
AP Photo/Vladimir Donsov

Ukrainian LGBT activists held an equality march in Kiev on Saturday but faced brutal attacks from the opposition. Those who opposed the march attacked the activists even though President Petro Poroshenko voiced support for the march.

“I will not participate in it, but I don’t see any reason to impede this march because it’s a constitutional right of every citizen of Ukraine,” stated Poroshenko at a press conference.

He was responding to a journalist who asked him about security for the marchers, as other groups had threatened violence if they held the march. It is the first time in history a Ukrainian president “ever voiced support of the country’s LGBT community.”

Christopher Miller at Mashable reported that participants needed “to have someone vouch for their character before being told the secret location of a parade that would last for less than an hour along a typically quiet 300-meter stretch on a promenade in a residential district north of this capital’s bustling center.” Cops in riot gear formed a barrier around the group to protect them from harm.

Over 100 people showed up, including journalists and politicians.

It did not stop the opposition. Unidentified agitators began a violent attack against the peaceful marchers, which injured ten participants and five policemen. The Telegraph published photos of people kicking and punching a policeman on the ground. Others threw stones and bottles at the parade as they marched past the Dnieper River.

Translation: The number of police injured rose.

The Right Sector, an extreme far-right group with Nazi connections, demanded Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko cancel the parade. Klitschko asked the organizers to cancel the parade to avoid disruptions. The group’s persistent opposition to the post-Euromaidan Ukrainian government belies accusations by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the extremist group was a major supporter of Poroshenko’s coalition, a claim Putin used to involve his military in Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian public is having the ideology of sexual perversion and the destruction of the family foisted on them,” wrote Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh. “We have enough issues, however circumstances force us to turn our attention to that evil as well.”

Members of the Orthodox Church stood around the parade to voice their displeasure.

“Ukraine is not America, Kiev is not Sodom,” they claimed.


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