Gay and lesbian rights activists march during the annual Gay Pride parade, protected by riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, June 17, 2018. Several thousand supporters of gay pride have held a march in Ukrainian capital that lasted about 20 minutes despite opponents attempts to block them. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Thousands hold gay pride march in Ukrainian capital of Kiev

June 17, 2018 - 6:39 am

MOSCOW (AP) — Several thousand gay pride supporters have held a march in Ukraine's capital that lasted about 20 minutes despite opponents' attempts to block them.

About 5,000 were on hand for the march, whose size was estimated at 2,000 by Ukraine's Interior Ministry and up to 6,000 by organizers.

The Interfax news agency said opponents tried to block the march seven times, but were moved aside by police.

Kiev held its first major pride march in 2016 after a pro-Western government that came to power sanctioned such events.

Some previous gay pride rallies in Ukraine have ended in violence. In 2015, a gay pride march was called off when right-wing activists pelted participants with smoke grenades.

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