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Demonstrators from around the globe come together to call on Putin to put an end to the conflict in Ukraine.
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Demonstrators from around the globe come together to call on Putin to put an end to the conflict in Ukraine.

On Saturday, demonstrators gathered globally to show their support for Ukraine on the two-year anniversary of Moscow’s invasion. They called for increased support from Western nations as concerns grow about Kyiv’s ability to defend against a more confident Russia.

Crowds gathered in Berlin, London, Paris and other cities, waving the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag and demanding that Russian President Vladimir Putin put an end to the war.

On February 24, 2022, when Putin deployed his troops to Ukraine, it marked the return of conflict to Europe after many years. This significant event caused a global shockwave and can be described as a geopolitical earthquake.

As worries increase over the diminishing backing from Ukraine’s supporters as Moscow continues to advance on the battlefield, demonstrators at a rally held at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate urged for expedited shipments of weapons.

Demonstrators take part in a march in downtown Budapest, Hungary, to mark the second year of Russia's military invasion on Ukraine, Feb. 24, 2024.

On February 24, 2024, individuals participate in a procession in central Budapest, Hungary, to commemorate the second anniversary of Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine.

Speaking to a large crowd of followers, including those holding signs that stated “provide weapons to Ukraine,” Kai Wegner, the Mayor of Berlin, strongly denounced Putin’s “violent act of aggression.”

“He desires to eliminate Ukraine, he desires to eradicate the individualities of the Ukrainian people,” he informed the audience, estimated by organizers to be 10,000 people while the police reported 5,000.

“However, we will not allow that to occur.”

He requested for Berlin to provide Kyiv with Taurus missiles with a long range, which has been a desire for a long time. However, the German government has refused this demand due to concerns that they could potentially target Russia as well.

At the rally, Valeria Zhylenko, a 32-year-old Ukrainian, acknowledged that it has become more challenging to solely support Ukraine due to the presence of other crises happening globally.

However, she stated, “I would like to reiterate that we are still present, we are standing our ground… we still require this assistance.”

In this aerial view pro-Ukraine demonstrators take part in a rally commemorating the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Feb. 24, 2024.

On February 24, 2024, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an aerial view captured pro-Ukraine protesters participating in a rally to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the Obelisk.

In the city of London, a large group of demonstrators paraded to Trafalgar Square, displaying signs that conveyed messages such as “support for Ukraine worldwide” and “Russia is a state of terrorism.”

“I sadly regret that the Western countries are not providing sufficient weaponry as people continue to die every day,” expressed Tania Zubashenko, a 54-year-old Ukrainian.

“They make promises, but sometimes it’s just empty words. What we truly need are tangible actions.”

We cannot stay on the sidelines.

Demonstrations occurred throughout France, attracting numerous participants to a rally in downtown Paris. The crowd could be heard chanting phrases such as “Putin is a killer” and “Russia must leave Ukraine.”

Mayor Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol addressed a gathering of hundreds in Rouen, stating that Ukraine is fighting for both its sovereignty and the values and ideals of Europe.

“Europe is currently engaged in a war, and we cannot simply stay neutral and not participate.”

Over 1,000 demonstrators assembled in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland and a significant ally of Ukraine, outside the Russian embassy while brandishing Ukrainian flags.

Protesters displayed crosses bearing the names of casualties in Russia’s war, along with replicas of structures demolished in Russian airstrikes.

Protests occurred in many other European cities, such as Dublin, Athens, Stockholm, and Milan.

During the rally in Stockholm, Maryana Kostiv, a 22-year-old from Lviv, Ukraine, expressed her desire for her country to emerge victorious in the ongoing conflict.

She expressed hope that the current situation will come to a close and Ukrainians will be able to return to their country and resume their regular lives. This is her one wish.

Europeans increasingly concerned

Although many people showed their support on Saturday, Europeans are growing more concerned about Ukraine’s struggles to defend against Moscow.

A recent survey revealed that only 10% of Europeans have confidence in Ukraine’s ability to win a military conflict against Russia.

Last month’s survey in 12 EU countries found that, on average, 20% of participants believed Russia could emerge victorious, while 37% expected the conflict to result in a compromise resolution.