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Thousands march in Berlin to support Ukraine on one year anniversary of Russia's invasion

Demonstrators wrapped into flags of Ukraine stand in front of Berlin's Cafe Moskau (Cafe Moscow) that has been renamed to Cafe Kyiv for several days, on February 24, 2023
Demonstrators wrapped into flags of Ukraine stand in front of Berlin's Cafe Moskau (Cafe Moscow) that has been renamed to Cafe Kyiv for several days, on February 24, 2023 Copyright ODD ANDERSEN/AFP
Copyright ODD ANDERSEN/AFP
By Euronews with AP
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Around 10,000 people took to the streets to protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Berlin on Friday, according to German police.

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German police said around 10,000 people joined a protest in Berlin on Friday against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Friday’s demonstration marked the one year anniversary since Russia's began its war in Ukraine. It ended at the Brandenburg Gate, which was illuminated in the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Protesters also stopped at a destroyed Russian tank, which was installed outside the Russian Embassy earlier in the day, to light candles and wave flags.

Similar political installations have also popped up outside Russian embassies, like this one outside the Russian Embassy in London. 

Other countries also marked the occasion by lighting up buildings with the Ukrainian flag's colours, like in Paris which turned the Eiffel Tower blue and yellow.

Back in Berlin, protesters came from all kinds of backgrounds. Belarusian demonstrator Artjom Merts said he attended the protest “to support Ukraine.”

“Europe knows that Ukraine protects the world as a democracy because we stand against Russian aggression,” he added.

Ukrainian flags were brought and waved by members of the crowd. Flags of other European countries were also spotted, including Finland's, Romania's and the EU's.

Some of the demonstrators expressed their disagreement with Germany delivering weapons to Ukraine. In January, Germany decided to send a batch of Leopard 2 war tanks to Ukraine. Berlin was hesitant in its decision at the time, as the topic of aiding Kyiv militarily divided opinion among Germans.  

Others however said they saw no other option but to support Ukraine both with arms and financially.

Konstantine Senin, a protester originally from Russia, expressed his dismay at Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine.

"What I feel that my country (did) so much harm, (to) so many people. I'm almost crying," he said.

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