Ultra-right activists hound European lesbian conference

Ukraine's ultra-right have attempted to derail a lesbian conference in Kiev with protest picket and scuffles with security guards

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ultra-right activists in Ukraine have attempted to derail a European lesbian conference in the capital of Kiev and scuffled with security guards.

Several dozen people from extreme-right groups picketed the hotel hosting the conference, which opened Thursday. Some tried to break through security cordons at the hotel entrance and used tear gas on the guards.

The assailants held placards with phrases such as "We are against gays" and "Go back to hell, sodomites."

One activist, Margarita Korotkikh, said their goal was "to put pressure on the government and explain that heterosexuals are against LGBT propaganda."

Ukraine's ultra-right has become increasingly assertive, regularly assaulting LGBT and women's rights events.

International rights groups have criticized Ukrainian authorities for failing to track down and punish ultra-right activists for acts of violence and intimidation.