Will the residents of Western countries be able to force their governments to stop arming Ukraine?
In the second half of February, a new wave of anti-war rallies began in Europe, which can be considered pro-Russian to a certain extent. How large are these protests and what can they mean for Russia?
For the second year in a row, Russia did not attend the annual Munich Security Conference. For Russia, the event is primarily significant because of President Vladimir Putin’s speech in 2007, when he stated that Russia has the right and determination to stand up for its beliefs.
This year, event participants could only discuss specific anti-Russian measures taken. At the conference, Europe’s security was considered only in terms of confrontation with Russia.
However, not everyone was willing to share the anti-Russian solidarity of the Western establishment. In the days when the conference was held in Munich, according to police estimates, about 10,000 people took to the city streets to express their disagreement with its agenda.
The protesters spoke against NATO policy, against the continuation of arms deliveries to Ukraine, and for the fight against fascism. The protesters claimed that the goal of the Munich conference was to coordinate anti-Russian and anti-Chinese strategies. This state of affairs clearly did not suit them. The event has escalated into clashes with the police.
Protests in Berlin
A few days later, over a thousand residents of Dresden, the capital of Saxony, came out to demonstrate against arms supplies to Germany. They marched through the entire city. The demonstrators carried flags of Saxony, Germany and Russia, various posters and banners with the inscriptions, “Promote peace without arms,” “Diplomacy instead of arms supplies,” and “Rockets, tanks and fighter jets do not create peace.”
The largest action against arms deliveries to Ukraine was held on February 25 in Berlin. The police said that about 13 thousand participants took part in it, according to the organizers, their number exceeded 20 thousand people.
The event organizers were the former head of the Left Party faction in the parliament, Sarah Wagenknecht, and the well-known German journalist and human rights activist Alice Schwarzer. They criticized the policies of the Alliance 90/The Greens and arms deliveries to Ukraine.
“We don’t want German tanks shooting at the great-grandchildren of those whom the Wehrmacht killed by the millions most brutally,” Wagenknecht said from the stage. She noted that Ukraine has a completely different view of history.
Retired Brigadier General Erich Wade, who spoke from the stage, also called to refrain from supplying weapons to Ukraine. He assessed such actions as “pure militarism.” “We need Russia for peace,” the politician stressed. After his words, the protesters began chanting, “Friendship, friendship!”
The Left Party itself refused to participate in the rally since the event was supported by the far-right Alternative for Germany party. Its activists were present at the event, but, according to journalists’ assessments, most of the protesters did not approve of them.
Tank in front of the Russian embassy
Pro-Ukrainian activists staged their own action in the center of Berlin – installing a T-72 tank, hit by Ukrainian troops during a special operation, in front of the Russian embassy. Its muzzle was deliberately pointed at the embassy. Residents of the city responded by showering the tank with flowers.
Many of them explained that they favored peace and against supplies of military equipment to Ukraine, while others stated that they were laying flowers in memory of those killed on both sides in the Ukrainian conflict. As a result, pro-Ukrainian youths climbed onto the T-72 and threw all the flowers off it.
Citizens who came to lay flowers at the tank clashed with them and asked the police to stop the vandalism. However, the police confined themselves to taking the most aggressive activists aside, but did not interfere with the rest to tread on the flowers. The organizer of the action, journalist Wieland Giebel said that if Ukrainians didn’t like the flowers on the tank, he wouldn’t allow them to be laid and set a fence around the T-72.
However, Berlin residents continue to come and throw flowers on the tank, now through the fence.
On February 26, a second nationwide action “For Peace, for Leaving NATO, for Stopping Arms Supplies to Kiev” took place in France. The protesters marched in columns through the center of Paris. According to journalists’ estimates, several thousand people participated in the action. Similar actions were held on this day in 29 French cities.
Smaller anti-war rallies were held in Italy, Spain and Greece. Protesters demanded that arms supplies to Ukraine be stopped and protested with anti-NATO slogans. Several dozen to several hundred people gathered at these rallies.
A rally against the sponsorship of the Kiev regime and for the start of peace talks also took place in Washington. The protest was led by former Congressman Ron Paul. He said that the US residents condemned the movement of the country’s leadership toward a third world war. Journalists estimated the size of the event at one hundred people.
With the exception of a large anti-war rally in Berlin, such events gather only a few dozen to a few thousand people. Obviously, such small-scale protests can in no way influence the policies of European governments, which have taken an unprecedented anti-Russian stance.
In recent years, we have seen hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of demonstrations in Europe against same-sex marriage, pension reform, tariff increases, uncontrolled migration, and other issues that are very painful for society. However, they did not change the policy of the authorities. It seems that the era when the people could really influence the authorities in their country is ending, if not already over, in Europe.
One should not hope that the residents of Western countries will be able to force their governments to stop financing and arming Ukraine with the help of small protests.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency