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Trans and non-binary people trapped in war-torn Ukraine

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The main obstacles to Valeria Kolosova escaping from Ukraine are her passport and ID card, which identify the 24-year-old transgender woman as a man – meaning she must stay to fight the invading Russian forces.

Kolosova left her hometown of Kyiv on Sunday and took a shared ride to the western city of Lviv, hoping to cross into Poland.

But she is too scared to attempt the journey. “I haven’t tried as I’m afraid they won’t allow me to flee because of the martial law,” she said, referring to the rule that men aged 18 to 60 must register for conscription and cannot leave the country. “But if I stay in Lviv, there will be no hope for a normal life … I do not see my future in Lviv or in ruined Kyiv.

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