WATCH ABOVE: Footage scuffles as opponents try to disrupt pro-gay march in Ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine – Opponents of a gay rights march held in Ukraine’s capital have thrown smoke bombs and tear gas and the Interfax news agency cites police as saying five officers were injured in the clash.
Other reports said four of the estimated 300 marchers also were injured.
The march took place Saturday morning along the Dnipro River in Kyiv. Helmeted riot police formed a cordon to keep marchers and opponents at a distance from each other. The opponents threw smoke bombs and some tried to break through the cordon. Some demonstrators were attacked after the march dispersed.
As in other parts of the former Soviet Union, animosity to homosexuals persists. The tensions are aggravated by opponents’ claims that Ukraine’s political turn toward the West will promote gay marriage.