Ukraine’s premier film festival, Molodist, has been picketed by protesters complaining about the presence of LGBT films at the event. Dozens of people stood outside the Zhovten cinema in Kiev, some holding up placards with anti-LGBT slogans and burning a flag.
The co-chairperson of the Parents’ Committee of Ukraine was also quoted as saying, of the festival programme: “The state is doing nothing to stop propaganda of homosexuality. How much money from the state budget was actually spent on gay propaganda?”
These protests appear to follow on from a crackdown in Ukraine’s neighbour Russia over the screening of LGBT-themed films, which saw the Bok o Bok (Side by Side) event targeted by officials, before winning an appeal against a crippling fine. It also reflects a wider ideological battle in Ukraine over whether to move closer to Russia, or the more liberal environment of the EU.
The Molodist festival has been operating since 1970, and the 2013 showed a modest amount of LGBT films in a strand called Sunny Bunny, including Malgorzata Szumowska’s In the Name Of and Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake.