LGBTQ+ Ukrainian soldiers take part in Equality March organised by Kyiv Pride

LGBTQ soliders

LGBTQ+ Ukrainian soldiers have taken part in an Equality March organised by Kyiv Pride, the first since Russia’s invasion, which saw hundreds of people attend. 

On Sunday (16 June), amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, queer Ukrainian servicemen came together to take part in an Equality Match organised by Kyiv Pride. 

The gathering was the first of its kind since Russia’s invasion on the country in early 2022. 

More than 500 people joined the march, with LGBTQ+ soldiers proudly wearing rainbow badges on their uniforms. A banner held by protestors read, “no peace without justice for Ukraine”.

An Equality March Organized By The LGBT+ Community In Kyiv
LGBTQ+ servicemen sported rainbow badges on their uniforms. (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On X/Twitter, Kyiv Pride posted images from the march in a thank you to the “hundreds of incredible, bright, brave, beautiful” people who attended. 

The march appealed to all foreign Prides, partners, friends and allies to donate to Ukrainian queers who are in need of support. 

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“Pride Month in Ukraine is about struggle, we don’t just want to celebrate diversity. Now we are fighting not only for rights and freedoms, but for our independence,” a post by the Pride organisation reads. 

Nearly 500 people participated in Kyiv Pride's Equality March.
Nearly 500 people participated in Kyiv Pride’s Equality March. (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

At the start of June, a request to hold the Kyiv Pride 2024 march on the city subway system was rejected by city officials over security concerns.

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

Equality March participants
The march took place on Sunday, 16 June. (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

A year after Russia first staring waging war on Ukraine, a queer Ukrainian who fled the country explained to PinkNews that they had returned to Kyiv as it was “very difficult” to watch the war unfold from a distance. 

According to opinion polls, public acceptance of LGBTQ+ rights have increased in Ukraine since the start of the war

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.

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