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Kyiv Pride march planned for June 16 with tightened security measures

by Sonya Bandouil June 13, 2024 7:43 AM 2 min read
Demonstrators wave flags, including the pride flag and Ukraine flag, at the Warsaw Equality Parade on June 25, 2022 in Warsaw, Poland. The parade hosted Kyiv Pride and drew attention to LGBTQ+ rights and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Volha Shukaila/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) 
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The KyivPride march will occur on June 16 in the streets of Kyiv. Around 500 participants, including activists, diplomats, and international community representatives, will participate.

The event will implement strict security measures such as pre-registration and a closed format. Only registered participants will know the location details. Law enforcement will also be aware of the route details, and the march will take place in close proximity to shelters in case of an air alert.

Originally planned for the Kyiv metro system, the march had to be relocated to the streets after the Kyiv City Council denied permission to hold it in the metro for security reasons. In a statement on June 3, Kyiv’s City Hall said that the metro system, which doubles as an air raid shelter during Russian aerial attacks, is a "dual-use facility and part of the city's critical infrastructure."

This will be the first LGBTQ+ pride event Kyiv will host since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Anna Sharyhina, head of the KyivPride board, underscored the importance of holding this year's march in Kyiv despite risks.

“We have a strong community of LGBTQ+ military personnel. Not all of them are open, but those who are open will also come to the march. And we want to show to Ukrainians and to the world that there are LGBTQ+ military personnel in Ukraine,” Sharyhina said.

Sharyhina also highlighted the march's importance for LGBTQ+ individuals under occupation, or in captivity, and those currently unable to advocate for their rights due to their circumstances.

The theme, "Unite for equality and victory," aims to affirm that LGBTQ+ members are integral parts of Ukrainian society.

Meanwhile in Russia, the country's Supreme Court declared "the international LGBT social movement" to be "an extremist organization" on Nov. 30, 2023 and banned all its activities.

Since then, several cases have been recorded of individuals convicted of "extremism" for displaying LGBTQ+ symbols.

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