On June 15, a Facebook user Goga Gabisonia published a post in a group ეროვნული ჯგუფი (National group), created by him. The post claimed that law enforcement officers refused to protect a gay parade in Ukraine and explained their action with the fact that they would not counter the patriots who would come out against the LGBT activists. The post also mentions that they called on all other law enforcement officers to respect the Christian values and morale. The post comes with an image showing a burning LGBT flag.
As of June 17, the post had more than 3,000 shares. It has also been shared to the groups ლევან ვასაძის მხარდამჭერები levan vasadze (Supporters of Levan Vasadze levan vasadze) and პატრიოტთა ალიანსის მხარდამჭერები ! ! ! (Supporters of the Alliance of Patriots ! ! !) by another Facebook user Gia Mampho. An identical post was published by a Facebook user ქართველი Ⴕართველი (Georgian Georgian) in 2018 and it has more than 4,000 shares. In 2016, identical information was disseminated by a news agency Reporter too. Reporter shared the given post via its Facebook page in 2019.
The claim that the Ukrainian law enforcement officers refused to protect LGBT community is disinformative and false. In fact, the said fake news was first disseminated by Russian and Ukrainian media in 2016. The two individuals, who spoke about allegedly leaving their positions due to the pride parade, had been fired before the pride events. The photo, attached by the author of the post to illustrate a gay pride parade, actually depicts the burning of an LGBT flag by anti-LGBT and far-right protesters in front of the Amnesty International building in 2017.
The primary source of this fake news are two former employees of Kyiv, a special forces regiment. They organized an improvised press-conference in front of Kyiv Police Department and stated that they would not protect participants of the pride parade that was to be held on June 12, 2016. However, both of them had already been released from their positions in May 2016 following an internal investigation. It is also noteworthy that the Kyiv regiment does not function as a patrol police. Read more on this topic in an article by Myth Detector from 2018:
Disinformation by Korkotashvili and Russian Media about Ukrainian Police Allegedly Refusing to Protect LGBT Community
Russian media have been spreading this disinformation for years:
As for the photo, attached to the post – it is wrong to assume that it depicts the act of refusing to protect a pride parade by the law enforcement officers. The photo actually shows the burning of an LGBT flag by anti-LGBT and far-right protesters in front of the Amnesty International building in 2017, in the run-up to a pride week.
This disinformative post also includes a call to share the post and become a member of the group. The given disinformation, which has been around since 2016, became actual due to the period leading up to the pride parade and is being used to mobilize the public. The disinformation is intentionally spread before the pride parade and creates a false belief that even law enforcement officers are against the pride participants and will not protect their constitutional rights.
In 2019, the largest pride parade in the post-Soviet space was held in Ukraine. Large police cordons were protecting the participants of the pride parade. Violence did not take place, despite hundreds of protesters against the pride parade. The organizers of the pride parade even thanked the law enforcement officers for protecting them.
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