Protests against the Russian invasion of Ukraine drew thousands from Times Square to Tokyo.
Sporadic protests popped up in Moscow in defiance of President Vladimir Putin, though far fewer than in prior days, when a groundswell of anti-war marchers filled the streets and more than 1,600 people were arrested. The sentiment against the war comes despite weeks of anti-Ukraine propaganda airing on Russian TV suggesting the people were waiting to be liberated.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky noticed the support from Russians.
“To all Russian citizens who come out to protest, I want to say: we see you. It means that you heard us. It means that you have started to believe us,” he said in a social media post. “Fight for us. Fight against war.”
Hundreds of people marched Saturday in Sydney chanting “Ukraine will prevail,” while protesters in Tokyo called for Russia to be expelled from the United Nations Security Council for the assault on its neighbor.
Demonstrators took to the streets throughout Europe, with many Ukrainians living abroad joining the crowds in London, Nicosia, Berlin, Athens, Helsinki, Madrid and Milan. In the Swiss capital of Bern, organizers estimated 20,000 people turned out.
Ukrainians protesting in Istanbul, Turkey sang their national anthem and held banners with images of bloody handprints, a symbol featured at rallies in several countries.
“My family is in Kyiv region and they are attacking Kyiv today. I don’t know what to do, what to think. I am calling them every 10 to 15 minutes,” a protester who gave her name as Victoria said.
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Red handprints were also smeared on a sign at the Russian embassy in the Romanian capital Bucharest, thousands chanted “Putin the assassin.”
“Somehow, together with everybody, with all the countries in Europe and … all the world, we need to stop Putin,” said Abramov Kiril, a 33-year-old Ukrainian living in Romania. “If they will not stop him in Ukraine, he will go forward.”
In front of the UN headquarters in Geneva, native Russian Valery Bragar, who has lived in Switzerland for 15 years, joined hundreds calling for the world to “say no to Putin.”
“I’m here because I’m extremely ashamed for my country of birth,” said Bragar.
“Putin doesn’t speak for us,” echoed Erina Volodartseva, 32, who is Russian and brought her children, ages 6 and 4, to a protest in Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times reported. “We are against the war. Ukraine is our brother.”
With Post wires