Veronika Limina, from Lviv, has been running a camp which teaches volunteer LGBT+ cadets basic combat and paramedic skills, the Daily Beast reports.
Limina, who works for an NGO promoting equal rights for LGBT+ people in the military, told the news outlet that she has signed up for Lviv’s territorial defence force and is prepared to fight as Putin’s forces move into the west of the country.
“I am angry… We will kill Putin,” she told the Daily Beast.
Andrii Kravchuk works at the Nash Svit Cente in Kyiv. He said a Russian occupation of the country could lead to “total lawlessness and repressions”, and that he knows of many LGBT+ people who are joining the territorial defence forces, as well as LGBT+ veterans who are returning to service.
He told the Daily Beast: “Now we have only two options: either we defend our country, and it will become a part of the free world, or there will not be any freedom for us and will not be Ukraine at all.
“LGBT+ people who served in the army and military volunteers are ready to come back to their service. We are doing the same as the rest of the nation.”
The threat of Russian occupancy brings an additional danger to queer Ukrainians: Putin and his regime are intensely and violently anti-LGBT+, and reports suggest LGBT+ people are among those whose names are on “kill lists” drawn up ahead of the invasion.