In a recent announcement, organizers of the KyivPride March revealed that the first gay pride event in the Ukrainian capital since the start of the conflict with Russia is scheduled for June 16.

The event is set to have stringent security measures, with only the 500 registered participants being privy to the exact location and timing of the march. This decision was made following the denial of permission by Kyiv’s city council to hold the march in the metro system, citing security concerns related to its role as an air-raid shelter during potential Russian attacks.

This year’s march will focus on the LGBTQ+ community within the Ukrainian military under the theme “Unite for Equality and Victory,” as stated by KyivPride board chairwoman Anna Sharyhina.

Previous KyivPride events were held in Warsaw, Poland, and Liverpool, England, due to the challenges posed by martial law after the Russian invasion.

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Russian actions against LGBTQ+ individuals have raised concerns among activists, with the Russian Supreme Court labeling LGBT activists as “extremists” and banning the international LGBT social movement in the country.

Despite being less liberal on gay rights compared to Western standards, Ukraine is seen as more accepting than Russia, particularly with the presence of LGBTQ+ soldiers defending against the invasion.

A group of Kyiv residents recently protested the KyivPride march at City Hall, expressing opposition to the LGBTQ parade and advocating for “traditional values.”

Previous KyivPride events have often encountered clashes between marchers and counter-protesters, with the 2021 march being more orderly despite some opposition. The 2020 march was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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