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Thursday, May 26, 2022

“You can’t stop Putin with doves of peace”: Everyone wants the end of the war, but the path is controversial – Berlin

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The protesters repeatedly sang the Ukrainian national anthem, because among the participants in the big demonstration against Russia’s attack on Ukraine on Sunday there were several who had fled the war in Ukraine. Among others, a young woman who, like many other Ukrainians, arrived a few days ago at the main station in Berlin and, together with three Ukrainian friends, called for solidarity with her homeland.

“Slava Ukraini”, Ukraine’s honor, shouted loudly, raised the Ukrainian flag to the sky and said in Russian: “I want to see Putin dead.” She fears, the woman explained, for her family, friends and acquaintances who live in Kiev and now endure increasingly precarious conditions as Russian troops “tighten the noose around the Ukrainian capital.”

Many people again demonstrated against Russia’s war in Ukraine. However, there were significantly fewer than at the last major demo two weeks ago. The police counted between 20,000 and 30,000 participants. The alliance of organizers from unions, churches, environmental protection initiatives and peace groups spoke of 60,000 protesters. 100,000 had been counted.

Under the slogan “Stop the war. Peace and solidarity for the people of Ukraine”, several thousand people began to move around 12 noon on Alexanderplatz. At the head of the procession was a carnival float with a paper Putin mache stuffing Ukraine down his throat: “Choke on this!” he said.

Many more thousands of people joined the Straße des 17. Juni. In front of the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column rallies of different movements were held.

Head of the DGB against rearmament – and for help with high energy prices

While a thousand Ukrainian refugees had to be housed in Berlin on Saturday alone, and there was general agreement that everything should be done to help people – organizations are registering a great willingness to help among Berliners – the protesters they were visibly divided on the question of how Germany, Europe and NATO should react to the conflict. Participants and speakers represented wildly different views on issues such as rearmament and weapons deliveries.

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