The Ukrainian MP Andrii Kozhemiakin is a wiry, conservative ex-spy who likes to emphasise his Christian faith and large family. He is also an unlikely new recruit in the fight for LGBT rights in Ukraine. A draft civil union law that would give same-sex partnerships legal status for the first time was introduced this year to Ukraine’s parliament, which is still functioning despite the war. Kozhemiakin’s committee was the first to debate it and the team behind the legislation were bracing for defeat; they had even prepared a statement. He started with a script they recognised, talking about his Soviet-era KGB training, his religious beliefs and his “personal opinion about LGBT people”.