Masked thugs hurl smoke bombs at Pride meeting in Ukraine
Thugs disrupted a meeting of LGBT activists in Ukraine – by attacking them with smoke bombs.
Rights campaigners had been set to meet in the town of Odessa to salvage their plans for Pride, after their planned Pride parade was banned by officials.
However, a group of masked men hurled smoke bombs into the meeting hall, before fleeing.
None of the campaigners were hurt in the attack, Odessa Pride spokesman Kyrylo Bodelan told AFP.
It comes after a local court banned the group from marching, claiming it could spark violence. Bodelan says the decision was “illegal and violates our constitutional right of assembly”.
Clashes between far-right groups and gay rights protesters are common in Ukraine, with the capital Kyiv’s Pride often subject to brutal attacks from homophobes.
Kyiv Pride was the scene of violence again earlier this year – and two policemen were reportedly wounded in an exchange with the violent mob, who pelted marchers and police alike with stones and smoke bombs.
It is not known how many protesters were hurt in the incident.
Kyiv’s oldest cinema was nearly burned to the ground in October – when it was set on fire during the screening of a ‘gay’ film.
Meanwhile, a video stunt went awry in Kyiv earlier this month – when two men attempting to hold hands in public were set upon by a group of violent goons.