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'Stop Putin' protests erupt around the world as people show solidarity with Ukraine
24 February 2022, 17:35
Protests have taken place across the globe as in a bid to show solidarity with Ukrainians and urge world leaders to do more in the fight against Vladimir Putin.
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Hundreds of "heartbroken" and "terrified" demonstrators gathered outside Downing Street on Thursday afternoon to call for more drastic action from Britain and the international community, including "total isolation of Russia" as its troops invade Ukraine.
Both Russians and Ukrainians showed up to protests to mark their opposition to the ongoing acts of war in Ukraine.
For many, the onset of war and the full scale invasion represents an attack on their families, friends, and fellow countrymen.
Whilst in Scotland crowds gathered outside the building in the capital's New Town on Thursday, about 40 protesters raised Ukrainian flags and chanted "Glory to Ukraine" while holding placards demanding Putin orders his troops out of the country.
The crowd sang the Ukrainian national anthem and chanted: "Stop Putin. Stop the war", and "Ukraine is not Russia". People also held up placards with images of Mr Putin saying "terrorist", "killer", and "Putin! Get out of Ukraine".
In Norway Olga Lietnieva, who is from Ukraine but is currently on holiday in the country, joined a protests outside of the Russian embassy.
During the demonstration she received a call from her aunt in the city of Donetsk who said she thinks her last day has come.
Thousands of protesters also lined the streets in Japan, Turkey, The Netherlands, France, Spain Vienna, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Natalia Ravlyuk, a volunteer who helped organise the protest, in London said: "We want the toughest sanctions and total isolation of Russia now."
"We feel very angry, we feel very anxious and we feel betrayed by democratic states because we have been talking about this war for eight years.
"They just need to wake up and stop Putin now."
Whilst Olga Gevorkyan, 30, who has been in the UK for around a year, revealed her entire family and all her friends are still at home in the northern Ukraine near to the Belarusian border.
Growing tearful, she said: "I am crying since this morning.
"I'm afraid to lose contact with them because it could happen any day.
Eugenia Klochko, 37, who has been in the UK for 10 years, also grew emotional as she spoke about her family who are still in Ukraine, saying: "I have had a couple of weeks of sleepless nights, monitoring the news, checking up on my family.
"I'm devastated. I'm heartbroken.
"I'm not sure if I'm going to see them alive again.
"I feel numb, terrified and shaken inside.
"I have never experienced or felt anything similar.
"If I didn't have a child, I would probably be on the front line fighting for my country."
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey, who stopped by the protest, told the crowds: "I hope that we can get our Prime Minister today to be as strong as we need him to be.
"We need Britain to lead, leading Nato, leading the world.
"The people of Ukraine deserve that.
"The peace of our world needs that."