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How the war in Ukraine is transforming the LGBTQ+ rights landscape in Europe

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Participants in the 2019 Kyiv Pride march in Ukraine (Pic: Kyiv Pride / Victor Vysochin / @arrideo.photography) For Ukrainian LGBTQ+ rights activists, a Russian victory is an existential threat to both the sovereignty of Ukraine and the rights of LGBTQ+ people. In his Feb.

24 speech, President Vladimir Putin used LGBTQ+ rights as a justification for his military operation, arguing that the West sought to destroy Russian “traditional values” with their “false values.” For some LGBTQ+ Ukrainians, the war is a call to arms — both in support of their homeland and in support of their rights.

For others, the threat of persecution is prompting them to flee. But because of powers conferred by martial law, some LGBTQ+ refugees have been pushed back at the border while others are taking dangerous routes out.

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