Rallies in Berlin and Paris call for peace in Ukraine

Demonstrators again gather in European capitals demanding an end to Moscow's invasion

A march in support of Ukraine for the first anniversary of the Russian invasion at Place de la Republique in Paris. EPA
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Protesters in Germany and France on Saturday demanded peace for Ukraine, a day after activists in both countries marked one year since the Russian invasion.

Police said about 10,000 people braved the falling snow in central Berlin to call for negotiations with Moscow rather than weapons deliveries to Ukraine.

Under the slogan "Rise up for Peace", demonstrators bundled up against the cold gathered at the iconic Brandenburg Gate near where a day earlier activists had parked a bombed-out Russian tank in front of Moscow's embassy in Berlin.

Organised by far-left politician Sahra Wagenknecht and feminist Alice Schwarzer, who both addressed the crowd, the demonstration also drew support from far-right politicians.

The two women have also launched a petition which claims to have gathered more than 645,000 signatures.

In Paris, police said 3,000 protesters rallied as they sang Ukraine's national anthem at Place de la Republique before Ukrainian children in traditional dress led a procession.

Hand on his heart, Volodymyr Kraftchenko, 73, who fled Ukraine a year ago, condemned "those who violated our land and our rights".

Krystina Krasnoboka said the "guilt" of not being in Ukraine had over the past year faded and become a feeling of "being more useful here (in France), to send supplies and money to the country".

Hundreds also rallied elsewhere across France, including Montpellier in the south, where Litouka Kseniia, 29, arrived with her two-year-old daughter in April last year.

"We must not think the war will end soon, we must shout everywhere that Ukraine is suffering and unfortunately is still going to suffer," she said.

On Friday, thousands of protesters across Europe marched against Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Landmarks lit and vigils held to mark Ukraine invasion anniversary - in pictures

Updated: February 26, 2023, 4:50 AM