Tank wreck, war anniversary protests in Europe
BERLIN: Activists parked a bombed-out Russian tank outside the Russian embassy in Berlin on Friday as thousands of protesters across Europe demonstrate against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
On the first anniversary of the war, leaders from across Europe attended ceremonies to show their unwavering support for Ukraine and to commemorate the victims of the conflict.
On Freedom Square in Tallinn, where EU leader Ursula von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gathered for a ceremony for the fallen, the crowd fell silent for a minute.
In London, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak paused for a minute outside Downing Street before the Ukrainian anthem was sung by two singers dressed in traditional Ukrainian costumes Vyshyvanka shirts.
Political leaders, from French President Emmanuel Macron to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Britain’s King Charles III, have issued messages condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the National Theater in Warsaw and the European Commission building in Brussels were lit up in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag late Thursday.
Demonstrators against Russia’s invasion gathered at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, some holding blue and yellow umbrellas in the drizzle.
“Reality much closer”
Enno Lenza and Wieland Giebel, who run a private German museum, said they stationed the wrecked tank in front of the imposing Russian embassy in front of the Brandenburg Gate “as a symbol of Russia’s downfall”.
“We want to put your scrap metal in front of the terrorists’ gates,” says Giebel, who has been entangled in a bureaucratic tangle with the Berlin authorities for months because of the tank system.
The tank, a 1985 T72 B1, was damaged on March 31 last year near Bucha, the town near Kiev that has become synonymous with alleged Russian war crimes.
Sabine Ertl, a tourist on vacation in Berlin, said the tank was “impressive and scary”.
“It brings that reality much closer,” she told AFP.
Lorenzo Graif, a student from Chile studying in Berlin, said the installation was a “good way to demonstrate in front of the embassy”.
At an event chaired by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who stressed that Kiev can count on Berlin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky beamed in a message thanking Western allies for their support for his country.
Selenskyj was also scheduled to speak to demonstrators in Berlin via video link later on Friday.
Hundreds of protesters rallied in London’s Trafalgar Square to support Ukraine.
Ksenia Miletska, a charity volunteer, expressed surprise at the level of support for Ukraine in the UK.
“It’s amazing when you have a Ukrainian flag with you and everyone is like, ‘Oh Slava Ukraini, Slava Ukraini.’ You know what that means. They’ve written millions of comments on our Tik Toks etc and it’s very cool.”
Financial accountant Oksana Podlesnayka called for more actions than words.
“There are many words, but not enough deeds. We need quick action, we need quick deliveries because people die every day.”
Source: Crypto News Deutsch