Tymur Levchuk
NGO Fulcrum UA Statement on attack on LGBT-activist and a veteran of ATO/JFO Viktor Pylypenko
Today, on August 29, at 11 o'clock, our coworker, an openly gay man and ATO veteran Viktor Pylypenko was brutally attacked. The attack took place during the commemoration of the dead soldiers, participants of the Anti-terrorist operation and Operation of the Joint Forces, which took place on the Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv.
As a result of the attack, Victor received a clogging of the soft tissues of the left temporal occipital region (according to the opinion of doctors). The activist claims that he recognized the perpetrator - Mikhaylo Gergeluk, a serviceman of military unit 3057. It is obvious that the attack was a hate crime based on Viktor's sexual orientation:

"He attacked from behind and continued to beat, shouting, 'You're a faggot! You will answer for what you said! You said I broke my oath! You will never be able to come here [to the memorial for the dead] again" - Viktor Pylypenko says. According to the victim, he received a message on social networks: "Another homophobe from the battalion wrote happily that I was beaten ... I am happy, though, that there were also those who called to support me."

"Unfortunately, this is not the first attack on the ground of hate, but this incident must become a turning point - because the law enforcement agencies have everything they need to effectively investigate and bring it to a fair court decision: the name of the attacker, witnesses, conclusion of a doctor, and most importantly, the victim, who is ready to defend his dignity. We are going to provide him with all necessary support. It is a shame that the attack occurred during the honoring of the memory of those who died for our security and freedom" - Tymur Levchuk, Executive Director of Fulcrum.UA said.

We urge:

the National Police of Ukraine to investigate the attack on the activist;

the Ombudsman and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to react accordingly, and to ensure an unbiased investigation of the crime.

Viktor Pylypenko is the veteran of anti-terrorist operation. He served in the Ā«DonbassĀ» battalion from September 2014 till spring 2016. Viktor is the first Ukrainian gay military to come out about his sexual orientation.

Contact information: Viktor Pylypenko +380991791632; Tymur Levchuk +380960380323

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