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Look: From Tokyo to New York, thousands protest against invasion of Ukraine

More than thousand people arrested in Russia over protests in various parts of the country



People attend a pro-Ukraine protest rally in front of the Chancellery close to the Reichstag building, background, in Berlin, Germany. — AP
People attend a pro-Ukraine protest rally in front of the Chancellery close to the Reichstag building, background, in Berlin, Germany. — AP

By Reuters

Published: Fri 25 Feb 2022, 1:29 AM

Protesters turned out on public squares and outside Russian embassies in cities from Tokyo to Tel Aviv and New York on Thursday to denounce the invasion of Ukraine — while more than a thousand who tried to do the same in Russia were arrested.

The earliest known protest occurred outside Russia’s embassy in Washington around 1am EST (0600 GMT) on Thursday, only three hours after President Vladimir Putin said he had launched his military operation.

A demonstrator holds a banner depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin during a pro-Ukraine protest outside the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv. — AP
A demonstrator holds a banner depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin during a pro-Ukraine protest outside the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv. — AP

Local news reports showed dozens of protesters in the US capital waving Ukrainian flags and chanting “Stop Russian aggression!”

In London, hundreds of demonstrators, many of them Ukrainian and some weeping, gathered outside Downing Street, home to the prime minister, urging Britain to do more.

Pro-Ukraine people shout slogans during a small protest outside the Russian consulate in Istanbul. — AP
Pro-Ukraine people shout slogans during a small protest outside the Russian consulate in Istanbul. — AP

“We need help, we need someone to support us,” said one. “Ukraine is too small and the pressure is too big.”

In Paris, one demonstrator told Reuters: “I feel that we are in a very dangerous moment for the whole world.”

In Madrid, Oscar-winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem, nominated for another Academy Award this year, joined about a hundred protesters outside the Russian embassy.

People protest against Russia's actions in Ukraine during a rally at Shibuya district in Tokyo. — AFP
People protest against Russia's actions in Ukraine during a rally at Shibuya district in Tokyo. — AFP

“It is an invasion. ... It violates Ukraine’s fundamental right to territorial sovereignty, international law, and many other things,” Bardem said.

A giant flag was carried through Manhattan’s Times Square by a crowd of several hundred protesters.

In the Swiss capital Bern, hundreds gathered, holding Ukrainian flags and chanting “Peace for Ukraine!”.

Demonstrators take part in the protest against Russia's agression on Ukraine, in front of Russian embassy in Warsaw. — AFP
Demonstrators take part in the protest against Russia's agression on Ukraine, in front of Russian embassy in Warsaw. — AFP

Agapi Tamir, 28, one of a few dozen members of Greece’s Ukrainian community who staged a protest in Athens, said: “The only thing we believe is that a miracle will stop all this awful and frightening thing that is happening at this moment.”

A small demonstration in Geneva, organised by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) outside the UN European headquarters, condemned what the group said was Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons.

Police officers detain a demonstrator in St. Petersburg, Russia. — AP
Police officers detain a demonstrator in St. Petersburg, Russia. — AP

Other demonstrations were held in Beirut, Tel Aviv, Dublin and Prague.

Also in Dublin, a Russian double-eagle crest beside the gate of the Russian embassy was defaced with red paint.

More protests were scheduled for later in the day in the US cities of Houston and Denver, according to social media posts.

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In Russia itself, protesters defied an official warning that explicitly threatened criminal prosecution and even jail time for those calling for or taking part in protests.

Hundreds rallied in cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, chanting slogans such as “No to war!” and holding up makeshift signs.

By 1939 GMT, police had detained no fewer than 1,667 people in 53 cities, the OVD-Info rights monitor said. Six hundred were arrested in Moscow alone, the Tass news agency reported.


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