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Thousands protest in Berlin against Russia’s war in Ukraine

The organizers expected 20,000 participants – but more than 100,000 came to the Brandenburg Gate: In Berlin, but also in other German cities, there were demonstrations at the weekend against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

They came with flags, posters, but also a lot of confidence: According to the police, well over 100,000 people have already gathered for the Berlin demonstration against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and for peace.

In the early Sunday afternoon, the organizers even spoke of around 500,000 people who had gathered between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column and in the adjacent Tiergarten. The police, on the other hand, assume a “lower six-digit number” of participants.

The main points of the demonstration were around the Great Star up to the Brandenburg Gate. But more and more people would come, also from the direction of Alexanderplatz, according to the emergency services. According to the police, they repeatedly pointed out compliance with the corona protection measures.

An alliance of trade unions, churches, initiatives, environmental protection organizations and peace groups called for the march. According to the organizers, they were hoping for 20,000 participants on the Straße des 17. Juni between the Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate under the motto: “Stop the war. Peace for Ukraine and All Europe”.

Speeches appealed to the Russian leadership to stop fighting immediately and withdraw troops. In the direction of the federal government, demands were made, among other things, to keep the borders open for refugees from Ukraine.

The chairwoman of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Präses Annette Kurschus, condemned the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military as a crime. At the same time, she called for people not to get caught up in a spiral of hatred: “We will not give the belligerent clique of rulers in Russia the gift of hating their people.” Now it is important to stand by the people of Ukraine and Russia to stand, said the Council President.

<h3>”Putin is not Russia”</h3>

At the beginning, Ver.di chairman Frank Werneke said that in view of the dramatic situation, this demonstration was a strong sign of solidarity. “This is also important: Putin is not Russia,” said the union boss. Respect and solidarity also belonged to the courageous activists in Russia who demonstrated against the regime.

A new era came into being when Russia invaded Ukraine. Peace remains the goal. Unions are part of the peace movement, but not neutral. Oligarchs shouldn’t be allowed to earn millions while people are dying in Ukraine, Werneke said.

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