Shea Coulee & Scott Studenberg
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Watch a Drone Put a Pride Flag on Ukraine's Statue of Liberty

Motherland Monument

Ukraine's version of the Statue of Liberty waved a rainbow flag for Pride.

Activists managed to raise the LGBTQ+ symbol above the Motherland Monument, a Soviet-era war memorial in Kiev that, at 335 feet, stands 30 feet taller than Lady Liberty.

They did so via a drone. A video of the aerial activism shows the 20-by-14-foot flag soaring over the Eastern European nation's capital toward the statue. A trick of the camera angle appeared to show the banner attached to the monument's sword.

The video was posted Sunday to Facebook with the hashtag #momwillunderstandandsupport, a reference to the statue's symbolic status as the mother of the nation. 

The stunt was pulled off by the organizers of Kiev Pride, whose annual march was canceled this year due to the pandemic. The celebration is routinely met with a counterprotest from far-right groups, although attendance and political support have grown in recent years. With 8,000 marchers, 2019's event was the largest yet.

However, LGBTQ people still encounter significant societal prejudice and discrimination in Ukraine, which still does not legally recognize same-sex couples. A 2018 poll from Democratic Initiatives showed that 47 percent of Ukrainians believe LGBTQ+ rights should be limited; only 37.5 percent are against restrictions.

This stigma was reflected in the video's comments, where Ukrainians complained about the "sinful" "vandalism"; at least one user was outraged that the "aggression" was carried out on Father's Day and called for legal action.

Dronarium Ukraine, the drone company used by Kiev Pride, released a statement Monday asserting the action's legality. “Drone flights were carried out under the current legislation and according to the rules of the State Service," the company asserted on Facebook.

“Our team is absolutely tolerant. We are against the manifestation of aggression against the LGBT community, we consider it the Middle Ages," it added.

Tags: Pride

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