Two men at LGBT film screening assaulted by right-wing extremists
A group of nationalists has violently interrupted an LGBT film screening in western Ukraine on Tuesday (18 October).
About 50 men, some dressed in military fatigues, disturbed the event in the city of Chernivtsi.
They were members of both Azov, a former paramilitary group in the 2014 revolution and now a regiment of the National Guard of Ukraine-turned-political party, as well as the far-right nationalist party Parvyi Sektor (Right Sector).
In a video posted on Youtube, some of the men can also be seen wearing masks and rubber gloves, as if implying the assembled people were contagious.
‘Today you show the film,’ one of the protesters can be heard saying.
‘And tomorrow you’ll throw an orgy!’
One of the leaders also said that, should the organizers decide to spend more on LGBT events, ‘you will lie here.’
Around 20 people were inside the Bunker, a venue inside the city’s Center for Contemporary Art.
They were about to watch This is Gay Propaganda: LGBT Rights & the War in Ukraine, a documentary following the Euromaidan events and their aftermath through interviews with members of the country’s LGBT community.
‘You’re talking about the rights of perverts,’ another of the men said.
Later, two men who had attended the screening were reportedly attacked in a central square in the city.
A group of men punched them in the head and chest; according to police, six arrests were made at the scene.
While police were patrolling the city, they did not hold the men back from entering, according to Hromadske Radio, because the event was billed as open.
Speaking to Ukrainian news site Update, Olena Shevchenko, who leads LGBT organization Insight and also features in the film, said she believed this was PR courtesy of Azov.
Since they recently turned into a political party called National Guard, who want to reinstate the death penalty for treason and embezzlement of government funds, Shevchenko warned they will probably ‘run on’ LGBT events.
‘It’s a lot easier than actually doing something useful,’ she said.
‘This is all tired, to be honest. I think it’s time to go to law enforcement authorities about Azov and other extremists.’
In 2014, Kiev’s historic Zhovten theater burnt down after two men threw a smoke bomb during a film festival which included a program of LGBT movies.
The two supsects pleaded guilty to throwing a smoke bomb with the intention to disrupt the screening, but did not want the theater to burn down.
Two days later, a dozen men in camouflage attempted to shut down another of the festival’s LGBT screenings, but police blocked them from entering.