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Thousands march on London over Ukraine crisis

Jimie 2022. 3. 7. 03:03

Thousands march on London over Ukraine crisis: Protesters brand Putin a 'delusional lunatic' and a 'bully' during rally in solidarity with war-torn nation


PUBLISHED: 01:54 AEDT, 7 March 2022 | UPDATED: 03:26 AEDT, 7 March 2022


Demonstrators denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin as a 'delusional lunatic' and a 'bully' as thousands of people gathered on the streets of central London today to demand an end to his invasion of Ukraine.

Protesters included migrants from Russia, Poland and Lithuania, many of whom wept as they described the experiences of those affected by the war.

Campaigners gathered outside the BBC's Broadcasting House to wave signs saying 'Russian troops out' and 'No Nato Expansion' before marching down Regent Street.


The march was organised by the Stop the War Coalition, as well as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), the No to Nato network, and CODEPINK.

Stop the War has caused controversy in recent months for its critical stance towards Nato.

Protesters from a group named 'Freedom from Torture' also dropped a banner onto Westminster Bridge in central London, calling on the government to scrap its Nationality and Borders Bill.

They argued the bill could criminalise asylum seekers, including those who might come from Ukraine, without a visa.

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Protesters from a group named 'Freedom from Torture' dropped a banner onto Westminster Bridge in central London, calling on the Government to scrap its Nationality and Borders Bill which could criminalise asylum seekers, including those who might come from Ukraine, without a visa

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Protesters march on Trafalgar Square during a demonstration organised by the Stop the War Coalition against NATO and Russia's military operation Ukraine

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Hundreds of people turned out in Parliament Square today to protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine

It has described itself as opposed to the British Government's 'aggressive posturing' and Nato's 'eastward expansion'.

But it has repeatedly been accused of harbouring anti-Western sentiments.

One male protester, who did not give his name, said Nato countries were 'provok[ing] Putin'.

However, some marchers voiced differing opinions on the bloc.


Monika Lichomska, a Polish warehouse worker, said she was there to show her support for Ukrainians and believes Nato support can offer security.

'In Poland, we are secure because of Nato. But if we're not stopping (Russia) now they will come after our country,' said the 37-year-old, who described Mr Putin as a 'delusional lunatic'.

Zoja, an NHS worker whose parents are Russian, wiped away tears as she said she felt the 'need to apologise' for Mr Putin's actions. 'Russia does not represent Russian people, she said.

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Anti-war protesters marched along Regent Street on a day which saw Russian troops shelled encircled cities, and it appeared that a second attempt to evacuate civilians from the besieged port city of Mariupol

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People hold banners, flags and placards during the anti-war march in London, many of them imploring western leaders to prevent a nuclear war

'We are not standing with him, we are standing against him. He declared war in our name but I didn't ask him to do it.'

Jane Calvert, an NHS worker, 61, said Britain should not 'bait a bear' and should instead pursue de-escalation. '(Mr Putin) is not a leader. He's a bully and a dictator,' she said.

Andrew McCann, another NHS worker, said the protest appeared to have been 'hijacked' by those with other agendas.

'I've seen people here who want a Socialist Worker's Party and ones that don't want a Socialist Worker's Party and that route can tend hijack these things.

'They're entitled to be here but there seems to be a bit too much nowadays of, 'You're wrong and I'm right.'

'Can't we have a common argument against violence towards innocent people?'

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Protestors waved brightly coloured banners calling on the British Government and NATO to take decisive action against Russia

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Some demonstrators demanded a 'no-fly zone' be implemented over Ukraine, despite fears this could escalate the conflict further

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A woman waves a banner saying 'refugees are welcome' in the UK

Mr McCann, who supports Stop the War and CND, said he is concerned about young people online being exposed to anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

'There's a big push to make people believe that, in Ukraine, the whole country is racist, for example, and we need to do more to make people question that,' he said.

Protesters chanted 'Stop the war' and 'Russian troops out now' as they began their march through the centre of the capital.

Elsewhere in the country, demonstrators gathered in Bristol town centre to protest against the invasion, many of them wearing the yellow and blue colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Andrew Warsley, 76, who attended with his band, said: 'I'm very concerned about what Putin is doing and where the consequences could be going.

'The UK could be doing more - we don't want to get into a war with Russia but we could do with putting Putin under a lot more pressure.

'I'd like to see us stopping all Russian oil and gas imports.'

Josh Pysanczyn, 26, a research scientist, has relatives in Ukraine and attended the protest with friends.

He said: 'My relatives are standing their ground - men, women and children are staying put. They are in Turka, which is close to Lviv on the Polish border and they are taking up arms.

'It is just a farming town, there is nothing there, but everyone has formed a militia, no one is planning on leaving.'

Ukraine war latest: at a glance

  • Boris Johnson has drawn up a six-point plan to defeat Vladimir Putin as he moves to assume leadership of global efforts to end the horror of war in Ukraine.
  • A second attempt to evacuate Mariupol failed today after Ukraine accused the Russians of shelling the city as citizens attempted to flee through a 'humanitarian corridor'.
  • More than 1.5million refugees have now fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries since Vladimir Putin invaded, United Nations figures have shown.
  • Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says missiles have struck and completely destroyed Vinnytsia regional airport, and urges NATO to close the airspace and make a no-fly zone.
  • The Pope deplored 'rivers of blood' in Ukraine as he demanded humanitarian corridors.
  • Elon Musk held a video call with Volodymyr Zelensky as he promised to bolster his Starlink satellite support for the war-torn country, as he tweeted: 'Hold strong Ukraine.'
  • A Ukrainian peace negotiator is reported to have been shot dead amid claims he might have been a spy for the Russians. The reports are unconfirmed.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday held new telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Elysee said.
  • More than 1,700 people in cities across Russia have been detained while taking part in anti-war protests against the country's invasion of Ukraine, a monitor said, more than a week after the assault began.
  • Russian pilots have been filmed saying they were 'following orders' after their aircraft was shot down over Ukraine.
  • The deputy minister of defence for Belarus has submitted his resignation and claimed he cannot support the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • BBC World News has been taken OFF AIR in Russia – two days after Putin approved law that could lock up journalists for 15 years for spreading ‘fake information’.


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Protesters brand Putin a 'delusional lunatic' and a 'bully' during London rally