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War in Ukraine: what does this coat of arms with a unicorn’s head on the uniform of some soldiers mean?


Some Ukrainian soldiers wear a coat of arms on their military uniform, representing a unicorn’s head. A symbol that is not insignificant since it defends the presence of the LGBT + community within the army.

A coat of arms, representing a unicorn’s head, affixed just below the yellow and blue flag, on the fatigues of certain Ukrainian soldiers. More than a fantasy, this distinction is highly symbolic.

It represents the presence of soldiers from the LGBT+ community in the army. A strong gesture, while the war against Russia, a country particularly repressive towards homosexuals, has been raging for almost 100 days now.

symbol born in 2014

As Reuters explains, in an article spotted by the Huffington Post, the unicorn crest on the uniform of soldiers who are members of the LGBT community is not new. It appeared in 2014, during the invasion and subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia.

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At that time, “a lot of people said that there were no homosexuals in the army”, explains to Reuters a director and theater teacher, who took up arms against the Russian army. “So they (the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community) chose the unicorn because it’s like a fantastic ‘non-existent’ creatureshe explains.

“It was a bit unusual for the others”

Back in the army as a couple volunteers, Oleksandr Zhuhan and Antonina Romanova define themselves as non-binary people, who use the feminine to designate themselves, and proudly wear the unicorn coat of arms on their uniform.

Regarding their integration into the other Ukrainian soldiers, the couple explains that there was “no aggression, no intimidation… It was a little unusual for the others. But over time people started calling me Antoninasome even used the pronoun “she” to refer to me”, explains Romanova.

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The war increases the dangers for the community

As the Huffington Post recalls, in 2013 Russia banned the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”, further diminishing the rights of LGBT + communities.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, “discrimination, violations of rights and hate crimes have increased in Ukraine since the beginning of the war”, alerted Olena Shevchenko of the association ILGA (international association of lesbian, gay people , bisexual, trans and intersex). “LGBTI people have had no safety net since the beginning of the war”.

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