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Ukraine’s oldest human rights group fights for LGBTQ equality


Denys Volokha returned to Kharkiv after months away to find the city destroyed but his work was just getting started. Photo: Sarah Ashton-Cirillo Their lineage dates back to the days of the Soviet Union; operating under the name “Memorial” it was the first human rights group recognized by the USSR. Now more than 30 years and one name change later, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) continues its mission of protecting freedom, the disenfranchised, and minority groups throughout Ukraine.

While Ukrainian forces have been battling Russian fascism for almost a decade, KHPG’s responsibilities have rapidly evolved since February 24, when Russia’s full-scale invasion started and the nation’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, declared martial law.

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A portfolio of work that includes pushing freedom of speech claims, fighting government discrimination, and lobbying for laws that increase liberty for all Ukrainians, has been expanded to include investigating war crimes carried out by the marauding Russian army.

Upon his return to the group’s namesake city after months of displacement, KHPG press director, Denys Volokha, sat down with LGBTQ Nation to discuss the organization’s long history, its newest mission, and why the war has been […]

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