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Kiev Pride activists attacked as they march through the capital

Kiev Pride activists attacked as they march through the capital

A peaceful protest, Kiev Pride, was violently disrupted on Saturday by Ukrainian radicals. Twenty were arrested, and several policemen were injured.

Attackers, many of them disguised, threw stones and smoke bombs during the march through Ukraine’s capital city.

Several police, of ‘hundreds’ deployed were injured during the skirmishes, one seriously so, according to the BBC.

On Friday,  the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had voiced support for LGBT citizens and the march, saying it is ‘a constitutional right of every citizen’.

However, the Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko feared that the march would cause disurption and violence.

The assault involved Ukraine’s Right Sector group: a militant and religious organisation which has a long history of anti-gay activism. In the Ukrainian newspaper Vesti, the activists were quoted as wanting to ‘physically destroy’ gay people.

There were fears that the Pride event may never have taken place. The protestors asked for assurances that they would be protected by the police; otherwise, in the words of an Amnesty International activist, it would be a ‘massacre’.