January 31, 2020

Mike Pompeo Snubs Ukraine’s Embattled LGBTQ Community
KHARKIV, Ukraine—Anna Sharyhina, one of Ukraine’s outspoken LGBTQ leaders, wishes she had a chance to speak with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to Kyiv this week. Sharyhina has several examples of hate crimes committed against her growing community that she’d like to share with him. She could tell Pompeo, she says, about violence against gays and lack of state support for the LGBTQ community.How Russia Drove Crimea’s LGBT Community UndergroundBut LGBTQ activists were not asked to join Pompeo’s Friday meeting with Ukrainian civic society leaders. The U.S. State Department determined who received invitations, and offered no explanations about who did not.So Pompeo will not see any of the documentation from PrideHub, a community center on Podylskyi Lane in the center of Kharkiv. He’ll miss, for instance, the video footage of far-right activists pouring animal blood all over the center’s door a few weeks ago; and of somebody in a balaclava writing “Death to LGBT” on the same door in December.Over the past three years, in fact, attacks on the center and LGBTQ activists of the advocacy group called Sphere have grown uglier and uglier. LGBTQ haters have sprayed pepper gas at gay men and women and severely beaten the activists at PrideHub, the LGBTQ community’s center.In July 2018 about a dozen attackers in gas masks and balaclavas ran into the center and threw smoke grenades at about a dozen activists. This was a clear offense that compromised security while threatening the life and health of PrideHub’s visitors and staff. “We complained to police, after the most recent incidents we collected about 1,000 letters addressed to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, but unfortunately nobody has been punished so far,” Sharyhina told The Daily Beast. “The attacks provoke further actions by aggressive groups, first a flash bomb flies at you in our space, where we watch films, have roundtable discussions and trainings, next thing we know, that some thugs collected animal blood to terrify us.” Just once, in 2017, the Kharkiv LGBTQ community tried to have a public action in support of gay marriage with banners that said, “The rights of LGBTQ are human rights.” Several dozen muscled-up “nationalists” surrounded the activists, chanting “Glory to Ukraine! Traditional family means strong Ukraine!” Several of the attackers tore the LGBTQ banners and set them on fire. After every incident, leaders of the LGBTQ community asked police to investigate the attacks, without visible results.This year, the official answer from the Interior Ministry said the incidents on Nov. 11, Nov. 26, and Dec. 16 near PrideHub, “have been registered” and police are going to make efforts to identify the perpetrators. But the LGBTQ community has heard this before. “Police have closed down several previous investigations into the attacks on us by far-right groups who used tear gas and smoke grenades against us,” Sharyhina said. “Nobody has been punished. That means violence is not going to stop.”In spite of the threats, last September up to 2,000 people joined the first Pride parade in the history of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. Two gay women, twin sisters Vera and Nadia Chernyginas, helped to organize the march. “Things are changing in Ukraine, progress is coming, we talk about feminism, gender rights,” Vera said. “We talk with youth, with students, who do not want to go back to the old conservative world, we work on convincing our liberal politicians to see the violations.” But she also said, "That is what makes local far-right groups so furious.”Georgy Tarasenko would agree. He leads a group of far-right Ukrainian war veterans called Freikorps. “LGBT is not about sexual minorities and their rights, absolutely not,” he insists. “This is their political power we fight, we want to ban their propaganda, just like they did in Russia.” “We don’t accept that these LGBT activists come to schools and universities to speak with kids about same-sex relations, trying to turn LGBT into some privileged group, apply their LGBT values politically,” said Tarasenko.Although his particular group of veteran militia volunteers from Donbas probably numbers only about 100 people, views such as Tarasenko’s have traction among many conservative Ukrainians. “Our organization has conservative views, we defend traditional values,” he says. “Our society is conservative, people do not like these things.”Kiev’s Battle of the Rainbow: Gays, Thugs, and a Soviet MonumentA few days before 2,000 people joined the first Kharkiv Pride parade, Tarasenko initiated meetings with the city’s police and security service commanders. “We knew we could not prevent that gay parade, whether we wanted to or not, and not least because there were about 2,500 policeman guarding it,” Tarasenko said. Kharkiv’s LGBTQ activist community, despite all the pressure on it, remains remarkably resilient. The menacing “Death to LGBT” graffiti was cleaned off the door, and about 200 people showed up at PrideHub for a New Year Party.  The twin sisters Nadia and Vera, 36, have been a part of Kharkiv’s LGBTQ community for the last 12 years but, as Nadia said, “We try to stay low key, protect our parents, who don’t have much tolerance for our nature.” The sisters  wonder if Ukraine’s young President Volodymyr Zelensky is going to make a difference. “Our President Zelensky might be a homophobe, but we believe he is a democrat, so sooner or later he should recognize our rights,” Vera added, hoping that for now Western leaders will support Ukraine’s LGBTQ people, even if Pompeo doesn’t want to hear about them. 
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Shonda Rhimes addresses Regé-Jean Page’s ‘Bridgerton’ exit | Page Six Celebrity News
April 13, 2021
QLzfxGTWTPY
Wyatt Pike quits ‘American Idol’ in shocking exit after making top 12 | Page Six Celebrity News
April 13, 2021
_8T9BVhbO_w
Henry Cavill goes Instagram-official with girlfriend Natalie Viscuso | Page Six Celebrity News
April 12, 2021
b6mUHF1I32E
John Travolta Pays Tribute to Late Son Jett for His Birthday | E! News
April 14, 2021
On4Z4dG9TUU
Vine Star Adam Perkins Dead at Age 24 | E! News
April 14, 2021
oILKbojVzNY
"F9" Trailer: "Fast & Furious 9" Hits Theaters June 25
April 14, 2021
vyk54F_ynXE
Barbara Corcoran Says Real Estate, Not Crypto, Best Way to Get Rich
April 14, 2021
OK4tuXpANxk
'Drivers License' Singer Olivia Rodrigo Gets Parking Ticket | TMZ TV
April 13, 2021
VeWowCSAADk
Dolly Parton's Ice Cream Flavor Hawked on eBay for $1,000 | TMZ TV
April 13, 2021
yXv-IiGmOE0
Entertainment Industry Leading U.S. Jobs Recovery According to Monthly Employment Report
April 14, 2021
SN5rgjk1-YU
'F9: The Fast Saga' Director Justin Lin Breaks Down the Film's New Trailer
April 14, 2021
5PvfDJf1eGg
How 'The Mole Agent' Director Maite Alberdi Captured an Oscar-Nominated Documentary Film Noir
April 05, 2021
Ur2j2GWDEq8
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.