Kyiv LGBT pride march passes peacefully (PHOTOS)

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Police serche a man as he enters the cordoned-off start point of the Kyiv LGBT Pride near Shevchenko Park on June 12.

Kyiv held its first ever peaceful LGBT Pride march on June 12, with thousands of police protecting the few hundred marchers from threats of violence by roving groups of right-wing thugs.

The small march around central Kyiv, which went by largely peacefully, was seen as a success by many in Ukriane, given the history of violence at previous such events.

A heavy police presence around the starting point of the march at Taras Shevchenko Park in central Kyiv, which included screening participants with metal detectors, ensured the event went peacefully.

There were several arrests nearby the starting point, and police said 50 people in all were arrested during the event, according to Ukrainian media.

After the march, participants were bused away from the area or escorted onto special empty trains in the metro, accompanied by riot police as protection.

After the march, reporters said several groups of young men could be seen roving around the center of the city, shouting homophobic slogans.

Several anti-gay protesters made it into the event starting point. One group engaged one of the organizers of the event in debate, but did not cause any trouble.

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