All eyes are on the Ukraine today as Russian leader Vladimir Putin orders Russian invasion of the neighboring country, a former Soviet republic prior to the distintigration of the former Soviet Union in 1991. The two countries have technically been at war since 2014 with Russia making aggressive claims against Ukraine that have including seizing Ukrainian territory. Putin ordered an full invasion today with missile strikes against the country, including its capital Kyiv and Russian forces crossing the border.
Countries around the world condemned the attack and many have imposed sanctions on Russia. U.S. President Joe Biden condemned the actions by Putin and called the Russian leader a “pariah on the international stage.”
Ukrainian forces are fighting back with reports that some Russian troops, unhappy with the invasion, have surrendered. Cities across Russia have also featured widespread protests against the war, putting Putin’s agenda into doubt with hopes this military action could end the reign of the Russian leader.
Meanwhile, there are worries for Ukraine’s LGBTQ+ citizens. Although a long way from the types of freedoms seen in the United States, Canada, much of Europe and many other areas of the world, LGBTQ Ukrainians have made some strides in recent years with Pride groups and celebrations being allowed by the government. This is in contrast to Russia where all LGBTQ groups are prohibited and persecuted.
Earlier this week, Bathsheba Nell Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. office in Geneva, sent a letter to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights warning that Russia plans to persecute dissidents once they take control of the country, warning of abuses planned:
Meanwhile in Ukraine, LGBTQ groups and citizens vow to fight back against Russian aggression. Kyiv Pride took to social media today to taunt Putin: