‘Ukraine stay strong’: Hundreds march on Russia’s embassy in London to mark a year of Putin’s barbaric invasion
- Chants of ‘Putin is a criminal’ echoed outside the Russian consulate in London
- Many held high Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag as they stood in solidarity
Hundreds marched on the Russian embassy in London this evening on the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Chants of ‘Putin is a criminal’ echoed along the street outside the Russian consulate in Kensington, as the devastating war in Ukraine continues.
Many demonstrators held high Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag as they stood in solidarity with the war-torn country after a year of barbaric conflict.
Others wrapped themselves in the nation’s flag and clenched onto homemade signs, some of them reading ‘365 days of genocide’ and ‘stand with Ukraine – neutrality kills’.
A giant projector then beamed the Ukrainian flag onto the Russian embassy building, which was then met with cheers and repeated chants of ‘Ukraine stay strong’.
Ukranians and Russians gather for a vigil in in Holland Park and then march to the Russian Embassy this evening
Ukrainians shout slogan during a rally to mark the one-year anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine
Members of the Ukrainian community hold a large flag as they take part in a rally outside the Russian Embassy
The Ukrainian national anthem and traditional folk songs also played out across the crowd with many of the country’s diaspora singing along patriotically amid the poignant anniversary for their nation.
The evening’s demonstrations and vigils were an act of defiance against Vladimir Putin’s despotic regime and war that has caused such brutality and displaced so many from their homes.
To date, over 82,000 Ukrainian refugees have been welcomed into the UK so far, and many have settled with host families after the government’s Homes for Ukraine initiative last year.
The Disasters and Emergency Commission report that the British public and businesses have raised £400 million in donations to charities to help Ukraine.
Earlier in the day, to mark the anniversary, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty stood with the Ukrainian ambassador in London, Vadym Prystaiko, for a minutes silence outside 10 Downing Street.
Dozens of other Ukrainian troops who are currently undergoing military training in the UK joined them to remember the thousands who have been killed.
A section of road near the embassy, and this evening’s gathering, is set to be renamed Kyiv Road to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Westminster City Council said the new address covers a small section of Bayswater Road, running from Palace Court to Ossington Street, and is a short distance from the Russian embassy.
Ukranians and Russians gather for a vigil in in Holland Park and then march to the Russian Embassy in Kensington, London
A girl plays beneath a large Ukrainian flag being held during a rally outside the Russian Embassy to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Members of the Ukrainian community take part in a march to the Russian Embassy to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
A little girl wearing Ukrainian colours takes part in a march to the Russian Embassy to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
A Ukrainian supporter holds a placard to mark the one-year anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine
The evening’s demonstrations and vigils were an act of defiance against Vladimir Putin’s despotic regime and war that has caused such brutality and displaced so many from their homes
Women hold placards as they take part in a march to the Russian Embass
Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, said: ‘Kyiv Road is a symbol of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and a tribute to their unwavering spirit in the face of aggression.
‘It is a reminder that the struggle of Ukraine has the attention of the international community.
‘We are grateful to the Westminster City Council and its residents for their support in honouring our nation’s capital and its brave defenders.’
The move makes London one of several European cities to commemorate the conflict in Ukraine by renaming a public area.
In March last year, Lithuania named the road in the capital Vilnius leading to the country’s Russian embassy Ukrainian Heroes’ Street, and changed the address of the Russian embassy to Independent Ukraine Street.
Estonian capital city Tallinn renamed one of its squares Ukraine Square in June 2022.
‘Place names across London have changed over the decades to mark momentous points or figures in history, so Kyiv Road is part of that long tradition,’ added Mr Hug.
The new Kyiv Road sign will be installed on Friday, while in the evening, Marble Arch will be lit up in Ukraine’s yellow and blue colours, and the Ukrainian flag will fly above Westminster City Hall.
This evenings gathering also come after a protest group painted a giant Ukrainian flag on the road outside Russia’s embassy on Thursday.
The ‘Led By Donkeys’ campaign group claimed responsibility for the giant 500 square metre blue and yellow flag, painted on Bayswater Road in London on Thursday, saying they did it to mark Friday’s first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A child waves a Ukrainian flag during a vigil on the first anniversary of the invasion
Ukrainians supporters hold a giant Ukrainian flag to mark the one-year anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine
Placards are displayed during a vigil outside the Russian Embassy to demonstrate against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
London is marking the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine with memorial services and protests across the city
Demonstrators protest outside the Russian Embassy
Ukrainians react during a rally to mark the one-year anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine
Ukranians and Russians gather for a vigil in in Holland Park and then march to the Russian Embassy
‘Contrary to what the Russian dictator and his apologists claim, Ukraine is an independent state and a people with every right to self-determination,’ the group said in a statement.
‘The existence of a massive Ukrainian flag outside his embassy in London will serve to remind him of that.’
The flag is the latest stunt from the activists, famed for their giant billboards of politicians’ tweets.
The campaign group said they created the flag by spreading 170 litres of yellow paint on the eastbound carriageway and a similar amount of blue paint on the westbound side.
Passing traffic then spread the paint along the road.
The activists added that the paint was ‘high-standard, non-toxic, solvent-free, eco-friendly, fast-dry edible paint designed for making road art’.
The Metropolitan Police said three males and one female had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and obstructing the highway.
‘At 08:45 today officers attended Kensington Palace Gardens, where paint had been thrown on the highway,’ the Met said in a tweet.
‘Four people, three males and one female, were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and obstructing the highway. They remain in custody.’
Source: Read Full Article