Peaceful pro-Ukraine protest swears solidarity against aggression

Over a hundred demonstrators crowded across from the Russian Federation Embassy grounds Wednesday afternoon to protest Moscow’s apparent military moves into southeastern Ukraine’s coast.

The picket was jointly called by the Baltic-Black Sea Alliance and the Ukrainian Congress of Latvia, mobilizing members of the Ukrainian minority community in Latvia with citizens and residents of Latvia, including some political figures and many young people, Latvian Television (LTV) correspondent Anete Bērtule reported from the event.

The unifying theme of the demonstration – if something like this happened to us, we wouldn’t want to be alone.

Demonstrators sang the national anthems of Latvia and Ukraine, many dressed in Ukraine’s national colors, holding Ukrainian flags and Russian-, Ukranian-, and English-language posters proclaiming various anti-Russian slogans.

Ukrainian Congress board chairman Mikola Pavļuks told LTV that the community is “against this military invasion, we do not want our kin, close friends to die, and today we wish to state that Putin himself is the fascist.”

“The whole world must unite in this fight against fascism, still alive in the 21st century. It’s incredible that people are dying for absolutely nothing,” he said.

While few were able to specify further what they expect on Ukraine’s behalf from the NATO Summit in Wales, one demonstrator told Latvian Radio:

“We just hope the horror in Ukraine comes to an end. Moscow must be stopped with all available measures,” said one woman.

“I think NATO must give Ukraine both moral and military support,” said another woman.

In contrast with previous pickets, when the Embassy’s windows have been shuttered with no inside activity being evident, on Wednesday the blinds were up with staff looking out of windows and also coming out into the front courtyard to observe briefly.

From the Russian Embassy the picketers moved on to the Embassy of the United Kingdom to remind the signatory to the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 of its obligations to guarantee Ukraine’s sovereign independence in return for its relinquishing of all nuclear weapons.

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