“Life for this middle-aged, soft-spoken doctor had become unbearable in his hometown of Donetsk, a frontline city held by Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine. His decision to leave, however, was not taken lightly — it meant abandoning his long-term partner.
Nor would fleeing the warzone lead him to safe ground.
…In separatist areas that reject the rule of West-leaning Kiev, sexuality can be dangerously political. As one source told human rights investigators: “If you’re gay, that means you’re a fan of Europe. Ukraine wants to be part of Europe, so that means you’re for Ukraine.””