More than 8,000 people have participated in the Kyiv Pride parade, with “no major incidents” being reported.
The parade which is being hailed as a success, in general, was not without a few hiccups, with the Associated Press reporting that local police had to keep parade participants separate from LGBTI rights opponents who protested the event, with a total of nine people being arrested.
Along with local members of the rainbow community, The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv confirmed that dozens of its staffers participated in the parade, Scottish MP Stewart McDonald and U.N. representatives were also among those who also took part.
Speaking with the Blade Kyiv Pride board member Maksym Eristavi said, “It was a great Sunday for democracy and human rights equality in Eastern Europe.”
“Kyiv Pride has doubled in size. There were less incidents, more public and international support, superb work by law-enforcement. Saying that, (I) want to emphasize that this is a success of just one day out of 365.”
While the pride parade was a celebration, organisers also stress that the parade also serves a political service as well, particularly with discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity that remains commonplace in Ukraine.
“The rest of the year queer Ukrainians face constant discrimination, violence and fear, while attacks on them are never prosecuted or officially condemned,” Eristavi explained.