A Ukrainian extremist nationalist party has bragged about attacking gay protesters in the capital Kyiv last week.
Svoboda, whose name means ‘freedom’ and is linked to France’s National Front, the British National Party and Hungary’s Jobbik, admitted responsibility for targeting a pro-LGBT demonstration marking International Human Rights Day on 8 December.
Writing on its official website, the party boasted about their actions which included spraying teargas at the peaceful activists who were protesting the country’s proposed new law banning ‘gay propaganda’.
‘Thanks to the five nationalists, the sabbath of 50 perverts was broken up,’ the statement read, reported the Kyiv Post.
‘They pulled out banners with perverted slogans, after which the protesters used teargas on them, but they received a decent rebuff. The fight broke out for which the police intruded.’
One protester was left with a broken nose and six people were arrested, including five Svoboda Party members.
The far-right party, which is accused of homophobia and anti-Semitism, has 38 seats in Ukraine’s parliament after winning a record number of votes in October’s elections.
The party strongly emphasises Ukraine’s distinct cultural identity, regards the Soviet rule as an occupation of Ukrainian territory, scorns the Kremlin and plays up the importance of Ukrainian over Russian.
A ‘homosexual propaganda’ bill is currently passing through parliament and campaigners say it will censor the media, civil society activists and human rights defenders.
The bill, which is similar to that passed in St Petersburg in Russia earlier this year, passed its first reading in parliament with a huge majority in October.