Violence met LGBTQ activists and citizens in Kharkiv, Ukraine on September 15. After participating in the city’s Pride event, the area was swarmed by violent homophobes. Many of whom wore masks to protect their identities while committing angry and ugly acts.
In one such case, a male teenager and a few friends tried to find safety while walking through Shevchenko Park. Unfortunately for them, the crowd ganged up on the male teen and singled him out as the victim of their violent rage.
The teen was hit on the head and kicked at his legs. And despite an attempt to flee, the gang aggressively followed him through the park. Eventually, the teen was kicked to the ground, to the applause of the hateful crowd, and stomped on by nearby men.
Thankfully, the moment didn’t end with this child being seriously hurt or worse. Gleb Garanich, a veteran photographer with Reuters, intervene. Instead of taking photos and capturing the moment as a witness, Garanich felt compelled to stop the violence.
Garanich moved between the attackers, grabbed the boy from the ground, and peacefully walked the teen out of the situation (seen at the 0:58 mark of the above video).
In an email to Peta Pixel, Garanich, who is a seasoned photographer and is used to staying on the sidelines in order to record conflict, says he intervened “because there was a serious threat to [the teenager’s] life.”
Another photographer at the scene named Andrew Kravchenko says that if not for Garanch, the teen “could have been killed” by a mob hungry for violence. “In short,” Kravchenko states, Garanich is “a real man.”