Tens of thousands demonstrated in more than 100 cities around the world Feb. 24 opposing Moscow’s brutal war against Ukraine and marking one year since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
More than 10,000 people marched past the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. In Paris, several hundred sang Ukraine’s national anthem at Place de la Republique before Ukrainian children in traditional clothing led a procession. In London, 2,000 rallied at the Russian Embassy where a nearby street has been renamed Kyiv Road. Events were organized in Helsinki; Sydney; Bangkok; Tokyo; Bali, Indonesia; and the Netherlands. Thousands rallied in New York and in Washington, D.C.
Participants included Russians, Georgians, Belarusians and people from other former subject nations under Russian rule.
“Withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine! If Russia stops fighting, there is no war!” chanted hundreds Feb. 25 and 26 outside the Russian Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. A Ukrainian teacher at the protest, Andrei Litvinov, whose brother is a Ukrainian soldier, told the Korea Herald he traveled to Poland “with a Korean team to help the war refugees there.” Metelitsa Oleg, from Belarus, who protests at least once a month, said she and “many of her fellow Belarusians” opposed Minsk’s support for Russia.
There were protests in Russia, mostly by people laying flowers or stuffed animals at monuments dedicated to Ukrainian historical figures. Some chanted, “Victory for Ukraine! Freedom for Russia!” Thousands have been arrested for speaking out against Putin’s war.
In one of the largest rallies, tens of thousands gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia, including Ukrainian refugees and students marching from Tbilisi State University. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, thanked participants for their solidarity and paid tribute to the 36 Georgian volunteers who have died so far fighting for Ukraine. “You know all too well what Russian aggression means,” he said. Moscow invaded Georgia in 2008.
In the U.S., rallies were organized from Los Angeles to Chicago, Miami to Anchorage, Alaska. In Philadelphia, many Russians joined Ukrainians and others in a march carrying a 197-foot Ukrainian flag, above. “When Putin invaded Ukraine I demonstrated in my hometown of Petrozavodsk against the war. We got arrested,” Russian construction worker Alexandr Pisarev told the Militant, proudly showing photos of the protests.