Over 8,000 people people turned out on Sunday for Kiev’s annual Gay Pride parade amid tight security as far-right activists sought to disrupt the celebration.
Hundreds of far-right and Orthodox religious counter-protesters, were kept away from the march, held up anti-gay banners and shouted “Shame!” as the procession began.
Parade participants waved rainbow and Ukrainian flags as they marched through the center of the capital as thousands of police and National Guard troops stood by to ensure order.
The Ukraine, which ousted a pro-Russia regime in a uprising in 2014, hopes to become a member of the European Union as it seeks to overcome widespread poverty and corruption.
Homophobia backed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is still commonplace, even though Kiev authorities have allowed gay pride marches to be held, unlike in neighboring Russia.
At least nine counter-protesters were arrested on suspicion of preparing attacks against participants in the Kiev Pride event, police said.