Nationalists attack Pride-goers and police in charged protest.
A peaceful Pride march turned ugly in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on September 15 when conservative protestors sought out LGBT participants and attacked them. The incident was caught on camera and comes with a trigger warning.
Being one of the highest populated cities in Ukraine, a Kharkiv Pride celebration was considered a history-making event, unfortunately not all saw it that way especially homophobic nationalist protestors who ignored police and stormed barricades.
According to Out, around 500 protestors representing sects known as “Freikorps” and “Tradition and Order,” came through hosting their own event they deemed “March for Traditional Values.”
Hate fueled and undeterred, the conservative groups slung epithets ignoring police order with attempts to stop the celebration.
It was after the march was over that the groups turned physical. The video shows a number of young people chasing down, kicking and hitting those they believe to be gay. One boy had to be helped up by others; he had fallen while running as a mob took turns beating him.
The nationalists didn't just focus on the marchers, they also went head-to-head with the police which resulted in 17 arrests.
Vice News talked to Ukraine LGBT advocate Andriy Maymulakhin, at the Nash Mir Center. He says, “groups of ultra-right youth hunted for participants of the march throughout the city and beat several of them In Kharkiv, ultranationalists are especially active and aggressive. They try to disrupt every [LGBTQ+] event in the city.”
Homosexuality is legal in Ukraine, but traditional social attitudes are prevalent and gay people don't enjoy the same rights and protections as their heterosexual counterparts.
Video of the violence appears below, but be warned it may be difficult to watch.