Gays in Donetsk face fear as Russian influence takes grip

Like many other evening haunts, the only gay club in Russian-held Donetsk is no more.

Gay Flag

Shortly after Russian-separatists took control of the city last spring, Babylon Club shut its doors after being raided by armed men on June 8, 2014. Before the war, the club still had safety concerns given the low level of tolerance toward the LGBT community in the city.

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Now people with alternative sexual orientations or views on gender have much to fear from the self-proclaimed Russian-separatist authorities. Gays are mostly associated with liberal European views, something the authorities in Donetsk claim they are fighting against. As the Moscow-backed separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko once said:

“We will destroy the Kyiv junta and Euro-gays!”

Read the interview with 20-year-old Dmitri in