The Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which has seen destruction as Russia continues with its invasion of the neighboring nation, is set to hold a Pride celebration next month.
Kharkiv Pride 2023 will take place between August 23 and September 2, and will feature a program "full of useful events for the city," according to organizers.
2023’s event will be held under the slogan "we unite for victory," and has the goal of strengthening "the engagement of LGBTQ + people and our allies in the fight for Ukraine's victory; share with the community of the city knowledge, contacts, resources that the LGBTQ + community currently has."
The event will feature a flash mob during Kharkiv’s City Day on August 23, a charity festival, as well as a Pride march through the city.
Organizers announced that during events a collection of donations will be held, with proceeds going towards Volonterska UA, an organization in Kharkiv that aids in evacuating residents, delivering medicine and food, and giving medical assistance.
Funds given to the organization will go towards "the needs of the military who defend eastern Ukraine."
"In addition, military relatives will be able to receive psychological consultations" from the NGO Sphere, a group "uniting women of Kharkiv, including lesbian and bisexual women. For freedom, equality and safety."
Sphere states that its "values uniting us" are "human rights, freedom, gender equality, justice, inclusiveness, solidarity, unwavering respect for human dignity."
Kharkiv, which lies in the province of the same name, sits on Russia’s border. The area has seen destruction during the war, with the city experiencing rocket attacks on July 16. One person was killed and at least four were injured, according to The Guardian.
Instagram users questioned why a Pride week would be happening in the city, and why it would be happening outside of Pride month, which is celebrated across the globe in June.
Holding a march "during the war time?" One user questioned. "Where do the rockets fly in the city?"
"Pride month is not enough for you, have you decided to still celebrate?" the user added.
"Is it necessary to run and shout through the city that you are not of a traditional orientation?" another user questioned.