LGBT Ukrainians Fear They’re on Putin’s Kill List. Many Are Staying to Fight Anyway.

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03/01/2022

For years, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Ukraine have fought to be recognized as equal members of society. But now, as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion imperils Ukraine’s very existence—and amid fears that LGBT activists are on a Russian kill list the U.S. intelligence community exposed in recent days—international organizations are working to protect LGBT Ukrainians who are working to save a country that has not yet accepted them as full citizens. “The main fear at this moment is that if they will be successful, that we lose everything that we have,” said Jul Sirous, the volunteer coordinator of KyivPride, which organizes Ukraine’s annual Equality March and works to expand LGBT equality in the country, often at great personal risk to its members. “Unfortunately, if this city will be occupied like other cities, then there will be some persecution against LGBT people.”

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