Two men’s attempt to see how Ukrainians would react to public same-sex affection has resulted in them being pepper sprayed and beaten.
Zoryan Kis and Tymur Levchuk from Bird In Flight magazine recreated a recent similar “social experiment”, in which two men holding hands in Moscow were verbally abused and pushed by passersby.
They too also walked hand in hand, this time in Kiev, but faced little obvious negative reaction from the public.
The couple then decided to ramp things up when Levchuk sat on Kis’ lap on a street bench. “We wanted to know how people would react to that,” explained Kis.
They were soon approached by a group of 10 to 15 young neo-Nazi extremists who began to intimidate them.
“You’re in trouble,” said one man, while another exclaimed: “It looks like they’re fucking mistaking this place for America.”
As they continued to question the couple, asking if they are “patriots”, one of the gang members held a can of pepper spray behind his back before unleashing it on their victims.
They rest of the mob immediately started kicking and beating the couple.
Homosexuality is not criminalised in the Ukraine but same-sex couples have no option for legal recognition. A Russian style “gay propaganda” law was partially passed by the Ukrainian Parliament in 2012 but has not become law.
Watch a video of the “boyfriend experiment” below.