‘Brave and courageous’ Ukrainian LGBT+ activist killed by Russian bombs. She was just 21

A queer law student and defiant activist has been killed by Russian bombing in Kharkiv, Ukraine, local LGBT+ activists have confirmed.

Elvira Schemur, who has also been referred to as Elya Schemur, was a 21-year-old civil society activist who was “one of the first Pride volunteers to join the Kharkiv regional defence” when Russia invaded, according to Ukrainian activist Maksym Eristavi.

Eristavi, who is a board member with Kyiv Pride, confirmed to the Washington Blade that Schemur was killed in Russian bombing on 1 March. She was volunteering at a regional administration building in the city when it was struck by a Russian missile.

“Rest in power Elvira,” Eristavi wrote on Twitter. “Elvira inspired folks to follow her, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in defence of freedom and equality… She was brave and courageous. Patriot and a hero. Never forget. Never forgive.”

Her death was confirmed by Kharkiv Pride on Friday (18 March).

“Yesterday, we received a deeply tragic notification of the death of our volunteer Elya Schemur. Elya was an activist and a patriot: she participated in all possible actions and democratic events of Kharkiv.”

Powered by Froala Editor