Ukraine holds largest gay pride event to date in Kiev

A drag queen poses in front of police Image copyright EPA

Thousands have marched through the Ukrainian capital for its annual gay pride event, the largest and most peaceful the country has seen.

Ukrainian politicians joined the celebration in Kiev, with organisers putting the number of attendees at 8,000 – up from 5,000 last year.

However, there was tight security as far-right activists staged a counter-demonstration.

Despite a few scuffles, there were only nine arrests before the event.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a former comedian who took office last month, has made clear his intention to promote tolerance in a country where the LGBT community is often under attack.

A couple at Kiev Pride Image copyright AFP
Participants hold a flag at Kiev Pride Image copyright Getty Images

“Our desire is to convey to a majority of people that LGBT is normality,” Eduard, a 17-year-old tattoo artist, told Reuters news agency.

“I am taking part for the fifth time. Ukraine is making significant progress compared to previous years, security and organisation are much better.”

Last year, 56 members of nationalist groups were arrested for aiming to disrupt the march beforehand.

An anti-LGBT campaigner Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A far-right anti-LGBT protester holds a banner at the event
An anti-LGBT campaigner is apprehended Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police remove a man attempting to disrupt the parade
A couple kiss at Kiev Pride Image copyright Reuters
Attendees at Kiev Pride Image copyright Getty Images
Participants at Kiev Pride Image copyright AFP

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