Lesbian activist attacked in Ukraine

Olena Shevchenko, the founder of Insight Ukraine, has been attacked in Lviv with pepper spray. She has been instrumental in providing crucial aid to people during the war. We demand an immediate investigation into this targeted attack.

On April 15, 2022, we started the day as we usually do since the beginning of the Russian invasion of our country: we unloaded 1.1 tons of humanitarian aid, this time - diapers and baby food. 


When we finished, we returned to the warehouse, but Olena Shevchenko – the founder of our women-led organisation, Insight Ukraine – stayed on the street to talk on the phone. When she was alone, a man in dark clothes approached her, greeted her as an acquaintance and sprayed her face with what we think was gas spray. Then he quickly ran away. Another person was standing next to the attacker and looking around.


These people most likely saw Olena, recognized her, waited for her to be left alone, and then attacked her with gas spray. It was not an accidental attack on a random person. It was a hate crime on the grounds of Olena’s activism. 


Lviv is now a rear fortress of Ukraine, where tons of aid to the military and civilians is delivered. The whole country is now united for a common goal, for a common victory. We can't believe that there are people for whom the priorities are different and for whom it is acceptable to attack a volunteer. Just on the street, in the centre of Lviv.


We must do everything we can to prevent this from happening in our heroic country. 


We demand that these people are found and punished. 


Meanwhile, Olena will continue to do what she does best: help people.

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To Andriy Sadovyi, Mayor of Lviv, Prosecutor General of Ukraine:

Ukraine is united in the fight against the invader, for a common goal, for a common victory.


Attacking a volunteer working relentlessly to help shipping tones of humanitarian aid to children and women in need in Ukrainian cities like Kharkiv, Zaporizhia and Mykolayiv is unacceptable. 


Ukraine is a European Country of Freedom, Equality and Human Rights.


We urge you to investigate promptly and transparently this heinous targeted attack and to bring the culprits to justice.


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