Kyiv shoots down clever idea for a safe Pride March amid Russian war – LGBTQ Nation

Author: Greg Owen

More than two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the LGBTQ+ community there is anxious to march for their rights in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imperialist aggression.

This week, the Kyiv City Council denied a request to hold the city’s first Pride march since 2021 underground, citing “security reasons.”

“In order not to endanger the participants and passengers, and to avoid possible provocations, the city authorities cannot allow the Equality March to take place in the metro,” Kyiv City Hall said in a statement on June 3 via Telegram.

The city’s metro system doubles as an air raid shelter during Russian aerial attacks, making it a “dual-use facility and part of the city’s critical infrastructure.”

“It is always a high-risk area due to limited space, train schedule, and high passenger traffic,” officials added. “For security reasons, the organizers are asked to choose another location.”

KyivPride says they were inspired by a similar demonstration that took place in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv’s metro in 2022.

Last year, Liverpool, England hosted Kyiv’s Pride celebration, in conjunction with the city hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine’s stead.

Organizers were hoping up to 500 people would attend the event on the underground network on June 16.

Since the start of the war, which Putin claims he’s waging against a nation infected with “degenerate” Western values, support for LGBTQ+ people has grown markedly, from 54% in 2022 to 72% in November 2023, according to the National Democratic Institute.

In 2019, just 29% of Ukrainians thought LGBTQ+ people should have the same rights as others.

Kyiv’s first deputy mayor Mykola Povoroznyk said events like Pride are important to promote equality and human rights, but the subway’s’ “dual-use” as an air raid shelter made the location problematic.

The city and KyivPride were also compelled to refute rumors that organizers wanted to shut down subway traffic and have the city pay for the event.

Regardless of the location, organizers are limiting attendance, at least officially.

“The venue and time of the event will be announced to people who pre-register and will be approved by the KyivPride 2024 security team,” KyivPride said.

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Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: Greg Owen

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