For the second time since 2013, the march for equality took place in Kiev. Over 2000 police officers protected around 300 participants against far right counter demonstrators.
The march was attended by the Swedish ambassador and Members of Parliament, and found support by President Poroshenko who emphasized that it “is a constitutional right of every Ukrainian citizen.”
The march was attacked twice, resulting in nine injured police men and at least ten injured participants. Police arrested 25 people for ‘illegal actions’ against the march, which included throwing stones and smoke bombs.
Last year’s march had to be called off last-minute when local authorities refused to guarantee participants police protection.
Terry Reintke MEP, who participated in the march, reacted: “The Pride that took place in Kiev this weekend was an important step for human rights in Ukraine and all over Europe.”
“At the same time the attacks make apparent that we still have to fight against homophobia and hatred. With one police man severely wounded and dozens of peaceful pride participants injured after the violent assaults of militant nationalists the struggle for security of LGBT* population has to continue.”
Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, added: “Every single, brave individual, whether activist, politician or police, in the Kiev Pride showed the world how European values in Ukraine anno 2015 look like. What happened in Kiev is putting into practice the lessons of Maidan: freedom and human rights for everyone.”
“I congratulate President Poroshenko and the participating Members of Parliament for their support to the march, and I strongly encourage all political leaders, including Mayor Klitschko, to join in and speak out for equality and fundamental rights.”
Mayor of Kiev Vitaly Klitschko had previously stated that the march should be cancelled, as it “inflames hatred.”
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