Olena Shevchencko, a well-known activist and the founder of the Ukrainian LGBTQ group Insight, was attacked April 14, with pepper spray in the western city of Lviv. Prominent Ukraine journalist Katerina Sergatskova has suggested the action could be an act of hate by a Russian Saboteur, although that has yet to be confirmed. 

According to multiple reports, the assailant walked up to Shevchencko, offered a quick hello, and then unleashed his assault.

Insight, which touts itself as being a “public organization whose main values ​​are equality, feminism, freedom, inclusiveness and diversity for all social groups,” has provided invaluable assistance to minority communities across Ukraine during the ongoing war. 

Shevchencko spoke of the group she leads as follows, “The struggle for LGBTQI rights is directly related to women’s rights. We have a feminist structure, and even now there are no male cisgenders on our team. Insight includes transgender men and women, and most of the cisgender women are lesbian or bisexual. We use the same approach in regional offices where not a single senior position is held by a cisgender man.”

It is unclear as to whether or not cisgender gay men are allowed to participate in the organization’s efforts, and if so, to what degree.

Most recently the organization was lauded by Kyiv Pride, whose director was highlighted in LGBTQ Nation last month, and has recently been featured in several international news articles

Lviv, the city where Shevchencko was ambushed in a metropolitan area bordering Poland and a central location for the war’s Ukrainian victims, including refugees and internally displaced peoples. 

This story appears courtesy of out media partner LGBTQ Nation.

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