Ukraine news: Thousands rally in Berlin
Thousands protested in Berlin on Saturday, denouncing Germany’s arms supply to Ukraine and calling for peace talks to end the war.
Organizers preceded the protests for downplaying Ukraine’s right to defend its territories from Russian aggression and for failing to distance itself from far-right and far-left political extremists, where pro-Russian views are common. criticized.
One of the organizers, former Communist Party left-wing opposition lawmaker Sarah Wagenknecht, said at the rally that there was no place for neo-Nazis but that anyone who wanted peace “with an honest heart” was welcome.
Most of the protest placards reflected traditional left-wing stances, but some participants carried banners bearing the slogan “Americans go home” and the logo of a far-right magazine. Some even waved Russian flags.
Wagenknecht accused the German government of “destroying Russia” and said it should make an “offer” to Moscow to resume peace talks.
Another organizer, noted feminist author Alice Schwarzer, said it was time to look beyond the left and right. Protesters ridiculed each time the name of German Foreign Minister Annalena Beerbock was mentioned.
Police said about 13,000 people attended a rally at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, but organizers claimed 50,000 attended.
One of them, Berlin-born academic Constantin Schneider, said he understood that Eastern European countries were afraid of Russia.
“Of course[Russian President Vladimir]Putin is an idiot for attacking Ukraine,” he said. “But instead of saying in a big way that there is nothing to negotiate, we need to find a new solution (to war).”
There were some small counter-demonstrations. About 10,000 people protested at the same location on Friday in support of Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a recent television interview that prospects for peace talks are not at the moment.
Scholz told public broadcaster ZDF: “The Russian president needs to understand that at present there is only one form of negotiation – the unconditional surrender of (Ukraine) and the fulfillment of all his objectives. ‘ said.