A man was stabbed in Kyiv’s downtown early on Sept. 6, in what witnesses said was an attack motivated by homophobia.

A group of people first hurled verbal abuse and then attacked youngsters on Kyiv’s central Khreshchatyk Street, online news outlet Informator reported. During the attack, one of the victims, a man, was stabbed three times in the chest.

After that, they stole the stabbing victim’s phone and returned to a nearby bench where they had been drinking alcohol.

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Six police officers arrived at the scene and cuffed the attackers, who attempted to throw away the knife and the phone. Reportedly, the women with the attackers were swearing at the police, while the male attackers denied any wrongdoing. The attackers were taken away by the police while the wounded man was taken away in an ambulance.

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The names of attackers and victims are unknown.

A friend of the stabbing attack victim claimed their group had been relaxing on Khreshchatyk after a night spent in a club and was approached by a group of hooligans when heading towards a Metro station. They aggressively commented on the people’s appearance and insulted them, saying they looked as if they were of different sexual orientation.

“Those guys picked on us because we looked, as they claimed, too flamboyant,” one of the attack victims, a woman, told the Informator. The news outlet did not give the name of the victim.

There have been two similar attacks in Kyiv in August.

On Aug. 12 on Andriyivsky Descent, five people wearing balaclavas beat two men and threatened them with a gun for their “wrong orientation,” according to one of the victims, Nikita Ponarin.

“They didn’t like the ring in my nose, my jeans; wine instead of beer, as if men are only meant to drink beer,” Ponarin said. The attackers thought the men were homosexuals. Ponarin ended up having to have stitches for a head wound, concussion, bruises, and other cuts.

“It’s simple hatred,” he said.

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On Aug. 20, three men wearing military-style clothing beat an underage girl — also because of her looks. According to the girl’s father, Dmytro Dubitskyi, the attackers ripped off her anarchy symbol pendant and sprayed gas into her face on Kontraktova Ploshcha. They ran away, but returned to punch her as her friends were washing her eyes.

“It seems thugs operate in central Kyiv who regularly beat teenagers,” Dubitskyi said. “Usually the reason is (the teenagers’) appearance. They can beat a boy because he has rolled-up jeans; or a girl because of her piercings or colored hair.”

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