People around the world gather to mark the anniversary of the war

LISBON, Portugal — Landmarks around the world were lit up in the colors of Ukraine’s national flag as people around the world showed their support for the country on Friday, the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House were decked out in yellow and blue to commemorate the outbreak of war on February 24, 2022.

The conflict has affected economies around the world, resulting in shortages of energy, grain and fertilizer, and the date has drawn people to peace protests and other events in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, as well as Europe.

Among the memorials, stunts and ceremonies, a crushed Russian tank was displayed in Berlin, a bloody cake with a skull was left on a street in Belgrade, the flag of Ukraine was held aloft amid tears in the sparkling Bangkok sun, and Japanese monks prayed for the dead.

A rusting T-72 tank was placed in front of the prominent building of the Russian Embassy on Unter den Linden boulevard in the German capital.

The tank was hit early in the war in the Kiev region. A private group took it to Berlin and said it was on loan from the Military History Museum of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Destroyed Russian tanks litter parts of Ukraine after months of battlefield defeat by Kremlin forces.

“The whole world needs to see that many people in Germany stand behind Ukraine, so we are putting the scrap metal tank of the Russians at their door,” said Wieland Giebel, a member of the Berlin Story group. the organizers of the exhibition.

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In Serbia, whose government has friendly relations with Russia and has refused to join Western sanctions aimed at punishing Moscow for its invasion, police moved in to prevent a group of anti-war activists from reaching the Russian embassy in the capital, Belgrade.

The activists wanted to deliver the demand that Russian President Vladimir Putin be brought to justice for the genocide committed in Ukraine. A cake covered in red frosting representing blood and topped with a skull was left on the sidewalk near the embassy.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stepped outside his office at 10 Downing Street, joining Ukraine’s ambassador and some Ukrainian soldiers being trained in the UK to observe a minute’s silence for those who died in the fighting.

III. King Charles published a message praising the “remarkable courage and perseverance” of the Ukrainian people.

A teenage Ukrainian pianist, who was forced to flee his country with his mother when the war broke out, gave a solo performance in a shopping center in the north-west English city of Liverpool.

Alisa Bushuieva, 13, wore a traditional Ukrainian floral headband and dress as she played her country’s national anthem.

Around 2,000 Ukrainian refugees gathered at a convention center in Utrecht, the Netherlands, to hear Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak via video link, and in Brussels, hundreds waved the Ukrainian flag and chanted “Slava Ukraini!” (Glory to Ukraine).

In northern Europe, a candle was placed on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral to commemorate the victims of the war in Ukraine, and in southern Europe, peace quotes printed on jute bags were displayed in Rome as part of the installation “The Meeting” by the Italian artist Gianfranco Meggiato. : Symbol of peace.

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In Poland, thousands of Poles, Ukrainians and Belarusians gathered outside the Russian embassy in Warsaw to protest. They held national flags and signs with the names of Ukrainians killed in the war written on them.

In Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, marchers waved Ukrainian flags and carried banners reading “Ukraine wins” and “No to Russian terror.” They were joined by some 50,000 Ukrainian refugees who found refuge in Bulgaria in the past year.

Moscow had no special events planned for Friday as most Russians took a national day off amid an extended public holiday. As part of a relentless effort by the authorities to suppress any signs of dissent, police in some areas visited the homes of activists to warn them not to attempt to hold demonstrations.

Ukrainians living in Brazil protested in front of the Russian consulate in Sao Paulo, one sign compared Putin to Adolf Hitler.

Ukrainians in Lebanon chanted slogans at a demonstration in Beirut and held up signs reading: “Stand strong with Ukraine” and “No terrorism”. The Ukrainians and their supporters also commemorated the anniversary in Tel Aviv.

In Georgia, thousands of people marched through the streets of Tbilisi, the country’s capital, chanting “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!”

“I think that Georgians should support Ukraine because Ukraine is also fighting for us. Ukraine’s victory means our victory,” said Cira Zsvania, a student who joined the demonstration in Tbilisi on Friday. “Unlike the Georgian government, the people of Georgia must stand with the people of Ukraine.”

Dozens of South Korean and Ukrainian emigrants gathered in front of the Russian embassy in Seoul. With candles and banners, they demanded the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine.

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About 1,000 people protested in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park, holding banners reading “Russia, stop invading Ukraine.” Protesters held a candlelight vigil outside the city’s United Nations University, and about 30 monks prayed for the lives lost in the war at Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, central Japan.

Flowers were also placed in front of the Ukrainian consulate in Bali, Indonesia, paying tribute to those killed in the war.

Ukrainians living in Thailand gathered in front of their embassy in Bangkok. About 50 people, many wearing their national colors, sang the national anthem as an embassy official raised the flag. Several cried during the embassy’s charge d’affaires speech, in which he urged them to stay strong.

Iliana Martsenyak, originally from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which was hit by a Russian flood, wiped tears from her eyes as she spoke about how the anniversary made her feel.

“Honestly, I can’t find words to describe what I and every single Ukrainian is feeling today because of this absolutely irrational, cruel and terrible war that has been inflicted on our land,” he said.

The group marched to a nearby city park with Ukrainian flags and protest signs held aloft. They stopped at the Lumpini park library, mostly in silence, as a mother hugged her little girl and others stared intently into the distance.


AP reporters around the world contributed to this report.


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