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  • Writer's pictureChristian Gersbacher

How is the current situation for LGBT* in Ukraine?

I speak with Alex Belopolsky from Munich-Kyiv Queer about the current situation of queer people in Ukraine.In addition to the terror of war, the LGBTQ* community in Ukraine is fearful of the possible consequences of a Russian occupation.

U.S. UN Ambassador Bathsheba Nell Crocke has warned the United Nations that it believes Russia has plans to kill large numbers of critics, dissidents and LGBTQ* activists* in Ukraine or send them to camps. The United States fears that targeted killings, abductions and "disappearances," unjustified detentions, or torture could be used in an invasion and the period thereafter. It remains unclear how specific the threats to LGBTQ activists* might be. However, militias, soldiers, or vigilantes could well commit human rights violations against LGBTQ* as is the case in Chechnya, for example.

Already tense situation in the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine for years.

According to MDR information, there is a law that prohibits the dissemination of education and information about queer issues among minors. More than 100 euros fine or even 15 days imprisonment can be given to people in Luhansk for this. Anyone who is a member of a Ukrainian LGBTQ organization is quickly targeted by the separatists. Last March, MDR reported on Kyrylo Samozdra, a young student from Luhansk, who was targeted by pro-Russian separatists who threatened them with imprisonment for his activism. Many queer people have fled from eastern Ukraine to cities like Kiev in recent years. The capital was previously considered a comparatively safe haven for LGBTQ people. In eastern Ukraine, there have been repeated reports of torture against activists and journalists.

Ukraine, and especially its capital Kyiv, has in recent years become a refuge for many LGBTQ* who want to live a life of dignity and freedom. Quite a few are from the surrounding repressive states of Belarus and Russia, where there are laws against so-called 'LGBTQ* propaganda'.

The Ukrainian LGBT* community fears dire consequences:

Quelle: Vice Deutschland

Trans* persons whose correct gender has not yet been registered in the official papers would not be allowed to leave the country, for example, because they are considered to be liable for military service.

U.S. letter to the U.N. alleging Russia is planning human rights abuses in Ukraine:

U.S. letter to the U.N. alleging Russia is planning human rights abuses in Ukraine.
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Interview about the threatening situation of LGBTQ and activists in the Ukraine:

In my podcast VielfaltTALKS I talked with Alex Belopolsky (freelance journalist*) about the current situation of LGBTQ* people in Ukraine. Alex was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine and is involved with the Munich-Kyiv Queer contact group, which advocates for the human rights of LGBTQ people in Ukraine. Listen to the episode on Spotify here.

Hesitation on the part of Chancellor Olaf Scholz

foto: dpa / kay nietfeld

After a long period of hesitation, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has now declared that he will put the certification of Nord Stream 2 on hold and not put the pipeline into operation for the time being. As recently as December, Scholz had declared that he did not want to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project "It is a purely private-sector project." The topic of Nord Stream 2 and Germany's reliability has been discussed up and down in US talk shows in recent weeks. Former EU Council President Donald Tusk has now also strongly criticized Germany's stance on sanctions against Russia. "Those EU governments that have blocked tough decisions have brought shame on themselves," Tusk wrote on Twitter. Scholz himself seemed rather "speechless" and very hesitant in recent weeks, although a clear and strong stance is needed right now.

No war in Europe!

At the same time, it must be recognized that the escalation in Ukraine is an expression of the serious ongoing deterioration of international relations and the equally serious weakening of international institutions.

The situation of minorities in the Ukraine could increase alarmingly by an expansion and an invasion of Russia. Western countries and the European Union now have a duty to prevent a possible catastrophe for the people of Ukraine.

What can we do now?

If you want to donate, there are two possibilities:

Aktionsbündnis gegen Homophobie (Action Alliance against Homophobia), which includes many LGBTIQ* human rights organizations in Germany, such as LSVD, Quarteera, etc.

Here you can also get donation receipts. Click the link: If you want to support Munich Kyiv Queer directly, donate to Munich Kyiv Queer supports their friends and partners in Ukraine, with whom they have worked closely and amicably over the past ten years, for example KyivPride. However, Munich Kyiv Queer is an initiative group and cannot issue donation receipts, but they can help very quickly.

Protests and demonstration

Current information about demonstration in solidarity with Ukraine worldwide can be found at:

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