LGBTQ+ community reacts to Russian invasion of Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has declared a full-scale invasion, with fatalities already reported across Ukraine.

Pride celebrations in Ukraine before the Russian invasion.
Image: Twitter: @SeamasBelfast

The global LGBTQ+ community has been reacting to the devastating Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moscow initially launched the attack under the guise of a peacekeeping mission, but today, Thursday, February 24, it has been confirmed that this is “a full-scale invasion”.

Speaking on Russian TV, Putin declared that any allies of Ukraine who interfere with the attack will “face consequences greater than any you have faced in history”. Explosions have been heard across major Ukrainian cities, with the death toll currently standing at over 40 people.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney responded to the news, saying: “God help [Ukraine]. Rocket attacks and explosions across the country. Make no mistake: this is a shocking murderous act of aggression against a sovereign peaceful state. EU and world needs to respond strongly.” 

Mr Coveney’s department is also waiving visa requirements for all Ukrainian citizens coming to Ireland, “given the prospect of a refugee crisis in Europe and to facilitate the movement of family members of Irish citizens,” Virgin Media’s Gavan Reilly reports.


From the epicentre of the disaster, Kyiv Pride took to Twitter to plead with supporters around the world to “Call on your governments to stand up and take action against the war in Ukraine!

“We need to stop it now, we need to show how powerful we are all together, and Putin will stand no chance!”

In another message, the group defiantly stated: “We remain strong, we are not intimidated. Putin will break all his teeth trying to bite us.”

LGBTQ+ people worldwide have been standing in solidarity with the nation, with Belfast City Councillor, Séamas de Faoite, tweeting: “Ukraine is far from being LGBT+ inclusive but it has been singled out for making progress. Solidarity to our queer brothers and sisters who risk seeing all that reversed by Putin’s imperialism.”

Simon Bowkett tweeted: “Solidarity with the people of #Ukraine today, and my thoughts are particularly with the #LGBT+ people of Ukraine (and indeed #Russia). #Putin’s regime is demonstrably homophobic, transphobic, and biphobic. There can be no #Pride in war and oppression.”

Ireland’s National LGBT Federation (NXF) also took to the platform to convey its support for Ukraine in light of the Russian invasion, saying: “We are all too aware of Putin’s anti-LGBT+ actions. Support and solidarity from your fellow [queer folk] in Ireland.”

LGBTQ+ people residing in Ukraine are thought to be particularly vulnerable right now, with a US official, Ambassador Bathsheba Nell Crocker, warning the United Nations that Russia is planning to have the country’s queer community “killed or sent to camps“. Crocker claims that there is a kill list being developed and that forces will “likely target those who oppose Russian actions, including Russian and Belarusian dissidents in exile in Ukraine, journalists and anti-corruption activists, and vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons.”

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