Viktor Pylypenko stripped of war medal because he’s gay

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02/28/2024

On February 8, 2024, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate awarded soldier Viktor Pylypenko a medal for his war service. But then, someone told them Viktor Pylypenko is gay. It’s no a big secret. After coming out as gay in 2018, Victor launched the charity LGBT+ Military, which supports LGBT+ soldiers and veterans. He also helped organise Ukraine’s largest-ever Pride parade in 2021. Immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the former soldier rejoined the Ukrainian military. Over the last few years, he has fought in the battle of Bakhmut, described by some as the bloodiest battle of the 21st century. Two weeks after awarding his medal, the Kyiv Patriarchate demanded it back.

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