Ukraine Pride organisations and members are mourning activist Elya Shchemur, killed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Elya Shchemur, known to friends as Elvira, studied law before the Russian invasion. She was also a prominent member of the local Pride organisation in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv. At the beginning of the Russian invasion, she volunteered for the Kharkiv regional defence. She died on March 1 when a Russian missile struck the regional administration building where she was volunteering.
Local officials say Russian bombs killed at least 500 people and destroyed 600 buildings in Kharkiv since the beginning of the invasion. Although the Russians so far failed to surround the city, the relentless bombing campaign already destroyed substantial infrastructure.
Ukraine Pride described 21-year-old Elya Shchemur as an activist and a patriot.
“She participated in all possible actions and democratic events of Kharkiv. Together with Elya, we went through three Kharkiv Prides and three Women’s Solidarity Marches. Elya was actively engaged in human rights interventions and pride performances.
“She inspired and motivated not only our team but all volunteers around. People followed her into her struggle for freedom and equality. And when she smiled, everyone smiled back.
“Elya was one of the first Kharkiv Pride volunteers that joined the Kharkiv defence office. She was brave and courageous. A patriot and a hero. And this is how we will remember her and never forget.”
Heroes never die
The post ended: “Heroes never die, only enemies do! All glory to Ukraine, all glory to our heroes 🇺🇦🏳️🌈”
elvira inspired folks to follow her, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in defense of freedom and equality. she was one of the first pride volunteers to join the kharkiv regional defense. she was brave and courageous. patriot and a hero.
never forget. never forgive. pic.twitter.com/mZj4LXo1Ol
— maksym.eristavi 🇺🇦🏳️🌈 (@MaximEristavi) March 17, 2022
Read also: Chechen anti-gay warlord killed in Ukraine
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