Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, members of the LGBTQ+ community and activists have been visibly joining and helping Ukraine’s army – with some hoping their participation will erode prejudice. With this goal in mind, one LGBTQ+ organization even donated to Azov, a far-right group with a history of extreme homophobia before the war. Anastasia is a Lesbian who has been volunteering on and off with the army since Russia first invaded in 2014.
While she spent five years as a civilian before the war began on February 24, she immediately volunteered to work as a drone operator as fighting broke out. When Russian forces were originally circling the country’s capital, she worked only 20 kilometres from the frontlines around Kyiv.