This piece initially ran on Advocate.com. Read the original here.
A bar in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was attacked Tuesday night. The attack comes only a few weeks after a far-right group on social media said it would begin targeting "drug dens," which activists say really means LGBTQ+ establishments.
Camera footage posted on YouTube by the Kyiv Dispatch shows about 20 men in dark clothes in front of the bar as they attempt to make their way in, however, security guards are shown preventing them from doing so. The attackers instead trash the outside area.
The neo-Nazis bombarded HvLv while yellings things like “white power” and “death to faggots,” according to the Russian state-funded news outlet RT.
They broke the bar’s windows, threw furniture, and even threw tear gas, according to media reports.
Those inside the bar took footage of the attack and posted it to social media.
About 12 men were detained afterward, according to the Ukrainian outlet The Village. The suspects are alleged to have violated the country’s anti-hooliganism law.
In early November more than a hundred people came to HvLv and chanted anti-LGBTQ+ and racist slurs in front of the bar. A far-right Telegram channel has even begun arranging so-called drug raids on bars that happen to be queer-friendly, reports the Kyiv Dispatch.
Attacks on LGBTQ+ nightlife aren’t new, according to Olena Shevchenko, chair of the Ukrainian LGBTQ+ rights group Insight.
“I can say that it's not the only attack on bars in recent years,” Shevchenko told The Advocate in an email. She said that neo-Nazi groups have been hunting people for the last two years. “They call it safari or raids on perverts, mostly [LGBTQ+] people and [those] who looked like [LGBTQ+].
Shevchenko says police do nothing, so the groups attack.