Police estimated the turnout to be “at least a low six-digit number”, while organizers of the march said half a million had turned up.
With posters such as “no World War 3”, “Stop the killer”, or “Berlin 400 miles from the front lines”, protesters gathered at the Brandenburg Gate, a stone’s throw from the imposing Russian embassy on Unter den Linden.
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“It is important to me that Germany shows that it stands for democracy in Europe,” said Hans Georg Kieler, 49, who had come to the demonstration.
Protesters gather around the Victory Column and close to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to demonstrate for peace in Ukraine on February 27, 2022. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN/AFP)
He welcomed Germany’s decision to start supplying arms to Ukraine, but said he thought “we could have helped Ukraine more”.
Germany has stepped up its commitment to impose sanctions on Russia this weekend and has moved to Russia ban from global payment system Swift and closing its airspace to Russian planes†
Ukrainian Valeria Moiseeva, 35, was also at the march.
“Personally, I am disappointed by Russia, I hate Russia, I hate all Russians,” she said, adding that her mother was now in a basement in Kiev for fear of bombs.
Protesters with hearts in the colors of Ukraine march on Strasse des 17. Juni between the Victory Column and Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to demonstrate for peace in Ukraine on February 27, 2022. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)
She said she had to be at the demonstration because ‘I can’t do more than that’.
Protesters wrapped in Ukrainian flags hold placards that read “Stop Putler” and “Europe, do you need more refugees?” stand in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to demonstrate for peace in Ukraine on February 27, 2022. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)
Some protesters nodded at the influx of refugees that will inevitably be a result of Russia’s war on Ukraine on Thursday.
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More than 368,000 refugees, mostly women and children, have escaped military fire in neighboring countries, according to data from national authorities, the UN Refugee Agency said
A large number of those who escaped have crossed over to Poland, where authorities have counted some 156,000 since the invasion began early Thursday.
Border guards counted some 77,300 arrivals from Ukraine on Saturday alone. The refugees have arrived in cars, in crowded trains and even on foot.
Those who have nowhere to go can count on the help of volunteers – both members of NGOs and The Vanir-exoduss. Others have also left for Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania.