Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought to the fore heartwarming stories of courage shown by ordinary Ukrainians. Now, a report in The Israel Hayom has revealed details about Ukrainian LGBTQI activists finding Russian soldiers hiding in their office in Kharkiv.
The Israel Hayom , a widely distributed newspaper in Israel, said the information about the encounter was provided to them by Ukrainian LGBTQI activist Viktor Pylypenko.
A Tyrannical, Homophobic Enemy
According to Pylypenko, the activists beat up the soldiers and captured them. Pylypenko told the newspaper that LGBTQI people were also fighting against the Russians. “We are confronting a tyrannical, homophobic enemy,” Pilipank said.
Pylypenko, an army veteran, said he had rejoined the Ukrainian military last week to defend his country from the invading Russians.
A US intelligence official had said that the list includes “journalists and anti-corruption activists, and vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons.” Russia could subject the individuals on the list to “targeted killings, kidnappings/forced disappearances, detentions, and the use of torture.”
Same-sex relations are legal in Ukraine, but LGBTQI people still face challenges in the country despite increasing visibility in recent years. The community has been organising Pride marches for around a decade. Ukraine has initiated progressive law reforms in 2015, including an anti-workplace discrimination law and the passing of laws to make it easier for trans people to transition.