In July, four men attacked poet Serhiy Savin and busker Maksym Verba in Lviv, believing they were gay.
On Nov. 15, one of the attackers was sentenced to four years and one month in prison. It’s the first sentencing of its kind, according to the LGBTQ rights group Insight. Another attacker got a four-year suspended sentence. The two remaining men have not yet been convicted.
Ukrainian police are often reluctant to classify such attacks as hate crimes. Savin and Verba’s attackers had initially been charged with simple hooliganism. The charges were later modified to “hooliganism with a homophobic motive.”
Savin told Espresso TV that there are “thousands, if not millions of similar cases.”