Request to hold Kyiv Pride march on city’s subway system rejected over security concerns

The subway is used as a shelter during air raids in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Getty)

A request to hold the Kyiv Pride 2024 march on the city subway system has been rejected by city officials over security concerns.

Pride month 2024 is well underway, but Ukraine’s capital has not been able to celebrate the LGBTQ+ celebratory event since 2022 – when Russia declared war on the country

Last year, Kyiv Pride was held in the UK city of Liverpool, which also hosted the Eurovision Song Contest there in support of Ukraine.

A Pride event has not been held in the city since 2022, when Russia declared war on Ukraine. (Getty)

This year, organisers attempted to announce registration for an “Equality March” for Kyiv Pride 2024 with up to 500 people in the subway network on 16 June. But the city hall said in a statement that it wouldn’t be approving the event in the metro “for security reasons”, and asked organisers to find another location. 

The authorities said in a statement: “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.”

The city’s first deputy mayor, Mykola Povoroznyk, was reported as saying that events like Pride are important from a human rights and equality perspective but noted that the metro is a “dual-use” system. Metro stations there have been used as shelters during air raid alerts in the country.

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The march organisers were inspired by a similar event which was held in the eastern city of Kharkiv in 2022. They added that they could proceed with the event without city permission, but wanted to include “dialogue with the authorities”.

A spokesperson for organisers told UNIAN on 30 May that they were speaking with Kyiv authorities to “agree the format of the event”, including their plans to hold it in the metro.

Public acceptance of LGBTQ+ rights have increased in Ukraine since the start of the war, according to opinion polls. Surveys from Ukraine’s National Democratic Institute found that support for legal equality for LGBTQ+ increased from 54 per cent in 2022 to 72 per cent in November 2023.

Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Ukraine since 1991, but same-sex marriage or same-sex civil partnerships are not yet legal in the country

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