Thousands attend gay pride march in Ukraine's capital

People take part in the annual Gay Pride parade, being protected by riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Around five th

Ukrainian police guard the participants of the annual Gay Pride parade in Ukraine's capital Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Aroun

Participants of the annual Gay Pride parade wave from a float in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Around five thousand LGBT activi

Gay and lesbian rights activists march with a rainbow flag during the annual Gay Pride parade in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, June 18, 2017.

Gay and lesbian rights activists demonstrate during the annual Gay Pride parade, being protected by riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunda

Gay and lesbian rights activists demonstrate as participants of the annual Gay Pride parade wave from a float in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday,

Participants of the annual Gay Pride parade wave from a float in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Around five thousand gays and le

Ukrainian police guard the participants of the annual Gay Pride parade in Ukraine's capital Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Aroun

Gay and lesbian rights activists demonstrate in the streets of the capital during the annual Gay Pride parade in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday,

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Thousands of people have attended a gay pride parade in the Ukrainian capital amid tight security.

Much of downtown Kiev was cordoned off and about 5,000 police officers were on duty for Sunday's event, which has traditionally been a focal point for attacks by ultranationalists.

Kiev police spokeswoman Oksana Blishchik wrote on Facebook that about 2,500 people attended. People marched with rainbow flags and placards, including one that read "Love and let love."

A counterdemonstration by a few hundred ultra-nationalists resulted in minor scuffles and seven arrests, according to local media.

Kiev held its first major pride march last year after a pro-Western government that came to power in 2014 sanctioned such events.

In 2015, the march was called off when right-wing activists pelted participants with smoke grenades.