Anti-war demonstrators have taken to the streets in London to protest for peace in Ukraine as thousands gather in cities across the world.
From Tokyo to London to Taipei, Ukrainians living abroad and hundreds of protesters have turned out on the streets to join anti-war rallies spreading around the world as Russia’s troops pressed toward Ukraine’s capital.
Thousands gathered outside the Russian embassy in Kensington, with reports of eggs being thrown at the building.
There were also crowds outside Downing Street on Saturday afternoon and in other cities across the UK as people called for Vladimir Putin to withdraw from Ukraine.
Waving flags, banners and placards, the protesters sang the Ukrainian anthem and chanted ‘Putin stop war’, ‘Putin go home’ and ‘free Ukraine’.
Similar protests have been held across the world since Putin ordered troops to enter Ukraine earlier this week.
Helena Kovalenko, 33, originally from northern Ukraine, said: ‘I’m so angry with Putin for invading my Ukraine.
‘I have family there, my mum and dad, and I’m so scared for them.’
Ms Kovalenko, who has lived in the UK for nine years, added: ‘I’m here today to call for this country to help – Putin has to go.’
The crowd, which blocked a path outside the embassy, shouted ‘down with Putin’ and held posters comparing the Russian leader to Hitler.
Some had tears in their eyes, while others were visibly angry as dozens of police officers watched on.
Others used chalk to draw the Ukrainian flag on the embassy’s wall and flags were tied to the gate.
Another protester said he was there to ‘stand in solidarity’ with Ukraine.
Flowers were handed out and donations were collected to help people still in Ukraine.
‘Stop Putin’: Demonstrators hold a pro-Ukraine rally outside Downing Street in London, on Saturday afternoon
Thousands of people were seen taking part in a protest supporting Ukraine outside Downing Street on Saturday
Protesters – many holding Ukraine flags – turned out in support of Ukraine outside Downing Street in London on Saturday
People take part in a demonstration outside the Russian Embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens, west London
A police officer removes a box of eggs from a demonstrator at a protest rally outside of the Russian Embassy in London
Protesters in support of Ukraine hold placards outside Downing Street in London as thousands called for Putin to end his invasion
Supporters of Ukraine demonstrate in Whitehall outside of Downing Street for a third successive day since the invasion
Protesters held Ukrainian flags as well as signs saying ‘no war’ and ‘stop Putin’ during the demonstration in London
‘Stop bombing my family’: A protestor holds a sign in Ukraine’s blue and yellow colours during the protest in London
The protest also saw flags from other European countries and a banner saying ‘Georgia is with you, Ukraine’
The Russian embassy’s walls in Kensington Palace Gardens were covered in chalk-written messages, drawings of Ukrainian flags, splattered eggs and fake blood.
The building itself appeared to have egg stains and cracked shells on it.
Dozens of people were wearing yellow and blue flags tied around their necks and holding flowers.
A protester originally from Ukraine, named Andriy, 27, said he had joined the protest to call for other countries to ‘do more’.
He said: ‘The world can’t watch as my people suffer – Putin is a barbarian, he’s an animal.
‘If sanctions don’t stop him, the UK, the US and Europe must be prepared to do everything.’
UK: Pro Ukraine protesters gather in Whitehall opposite Downing Street in Central London on Saturday afternoon
SPAIN: People attend a demonstration against the Russian invasion in Ukraine held in Toledo on Saturday afternoon
AUSTRALIA: Protesters gather in Sydney CBD during a rally against Russian attacks on Ukraine and call for end of military action and more sanctions against Russia
NORWAY: People hold a flag of Ukraine as they walk towards the Russian Assembly, during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
GERMANY: Demonstrators – many holding blue and yellow flags – gather during an anti-war protest in Munich on Saturday, February 26
JAPAN: People hold ‘Stop Putin. Stop war’ placards during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Tokyo
CYRPUS: A Ukrainian protester, living in Cyprus, wipes her eyes while holding a banner during a protest outside the Presidential palace in Nicosia
INDIA: Activists burn effigies of Russian president Vladimir Putin and US president Joe Biden during a rally in Kolkata
ITALY: People waving trade union flags take part in a demonstration asking for ‘peace in the world’, during a demonstration in Rome
SWITZERLAND: Demonstrators hold placards while protesting against Russia’s military operation against Ukraine during a rally on the place of the United Nations in Geneva
TURKEY: People, including Ukrainians, protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Ankara, on Saturday afternoon
ARGENTINA: Ukrainians and hundreds of others hold placards and Ukrainian flags in front of the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires
SOUTH KOREA: Protesters in front of the Russian embassy in Seoul encouraged Russian nationals to ‘join a free country’
FINLAND: Demonstrators wave Ukrainian flags to show their support for Ukraine during a ‘We Stand with Ukraine’ demonstration in Helsinki
Pakistan: Lawyers hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against war and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Several hundred Ukrainians living in Japan gathered outside of Tokyo’s main train stations Saturday, chanting ‘Stop war!’ and ‘Peace for Ukraine’.
They held up signs including ‘No war’, ‘Stop Putin, Stop Russia’, while others waved Ukrainian flags.
At a separate rally reportedly organized by Russian residents in Japan, several dozen people chanted ‘Hands off Ukraine!’
There have also been a series of demonstrations in Scotland, with more planned for over the weekend.
In Taiwan, more than 100 demonstrators chanting ‘Stand with Ukraine’ and ‘Glory to Ukraine’ protested outside the Russian representative office in Taiwan on Saturday.
‘My family, my friends are now sheltered in their basements because of the air attacks’, said Yulia Kolorova, a 49-year-old Ukrainian living in Taiwan.
‘I just want them to be strong. I just can’t imagine how scary it is to see the missiles over your head. It’s surreal.’
The protests come after Russian police detained almost 1,400 people at anti-war protests in the country on Thursday.
‘More than 1,391 people have already been detained in 51 cities,’ said OVD-Info, which tracks arrests at opposition rallies.
More than 700 people were detained in Moscow and over 340 people in the second-largest city St Petersburg, the monitor said.
Thousands gather at Tokyo’s Shibuya area on Saturday afternoon to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
People hold placards during a protest against Russia’s attack on Ukraine in front of Shinjuku station on Saturday
People were seen waving Ukrainian flags while others carried placards with messages of support for Ukraine and criticism of Vladimir Putin
People unfold a flag of Ukraine to protest against Russia’s invasion, in front of the Norwegian Parliament in Oslo, Norway
Protesters hold a rainbow peace and unions flags during a demonstration, called by associations Italian Peace and Disarmament Network, trade unions Cgil, Cisl, Uil and other organisations
The fresh protests came as Russian and Ukrainian forces clashed during fighting for Ukraine’s capital and after Russia vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that would have deplored the Kremlin invasion of Ukraine.
From Tokyo through Warsaw and London to New York, thousands have protested in recent days against the invasion, Europe’s biggest security crisis in decades.
Draped in Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag and waving the country’s national banner, protesters also carried signs condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempts to topple the Ukrainian government.
Several hundred Russian, Ukrainian and Japanese protesters gathered in the busy Shibuya shopping district in central Tokyo, many with their children and holding Ukrainian flags, chanting ‘stop the war’ and ‘stop Putin’ in Japanese and English.
‘I just want to say, “Putin stop this, regain your sanity”,’ said Hiroshi Sawada, a 58-year-old musician who attended the rally in Tokyo.
A 28-year-old Russian worker who asked not to be named said none of the people she knew from her home country supported the war.
‘We hate what is just happening now in our country,’ she said.
People hold placards including ‘stand with Ukraine’ during a protest in Tokyo, Japan, against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
‘Stand with Ukraine’: thousands of protesters flocked to the streets of Tokyo, Japan, to support Ukraine
People take part in a demonstration asking for ‘peace in the world’, in Rome, Italy, to show support with Ukrainians
People reveal a large Ukraine flag in Tokyo, Japan, during a protest against Putin’s invasion of the eastern European country
In Australia, some speakers demanded that the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison expands sanctions against Moscow and bans Russian citizens from visiting Australia, while others called for the NATO to step into the conflict.
‘I want more economic sanctions on Russia, I want military help for Ukraine,’ said Katarina, a protester who gave only her first name.
‘I want more action, more concrete action and less words. It’s too late for diplomacy right now.’
Another protester, Mogdan, called on the Australian government to lead other countries in attempts to stop Putin.
‘It’s World War Three, it’s a war not only on Ukraine, it’s a war on everyone,’ the protester said.
A smaller protest took place in front of the Russian embassy in Canberra, Australia’s capital, with people carrying signs saying ‘Putin off Ukraine’ and ‘Stop War’.
Australia and Japan joined the United States, the European Union, and many other countries in imposing a series of rounds of sanctions against Russian politicians, businesses, and elite citizens over the invasion.
The Ukrainian health minister said 198 people have been killed and more than 1,000 others have been wounded in the Russian offensive so far.
Health Minister Viktor Lyashko said Saturday that there were three children among those killed. His statement made it unclear whether the casualties included both military and civilians.
He said another 1,115 people, including 33 children, were wounded in the Russian invasion that began Thursday with massive air and missile strikes and troops forging into Ukraine from the north, east and south.
In the UK, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been slowed by strong Ukrainian resistance and that fighting in the capital, Kyiv, was so far confined to ‘very isolated pockets of Russian special forces and paratroopers’.
He said ‘the main armoured columns approaching Kyiv are still some way off’.
He added: ‘It looks like the Russian plan is nowhere near running to schedule.
‘I think that will be a great cause of concern for President Putin and rather points to the fact that there was a lot of hubris in the Russian plan and that he may be awfully advised.’
On Thursday, countries around the world lit up their buildings in Ukraine’s flag colours to show their solidarity as Russian forces seized control of Chernobyl nuclear power plant after a ‘fierce’ battle.
Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate was illuminated with stripes of yellow and blue, as was the front of 10 Downing Street and Flinders Train Station in Melbourne, Australia as other nations have similar plans in place to show their support.
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy was also lit up after Italy’s Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities of Italy Dario Franceschini tweeted about it.
A Belarusian and Ukrainian protester hold their national flags during a rally against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Tokyo
‘Stand with Ukraine’: Ukrainian children hold banners during a rally against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Tokyo
‘Stop Russian aggression. Stand with Ukraine’: protesters hold placards outside the Russian embassy in Tokyo on Saturday
Thousands of protesters – decked out with Ukrainian flags and banners – line the streets of Munich on Saturday morning
Protesters call for Russia to be cut off from the Swift payment network during a demonstration outside Shibuya station
People leave candles at the Ukrainian Embassy in New Delhi, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine
Demonstrators hold banners and Ukrainian flags during a protest against Putin’s invasion, held in Munich, Germany