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Anti-war rally draws at least 100,000 in Berlin

February 27, 2022

A massive crowd gathered in the German capital to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine while the German parliament is holding a special session.

Masses of people march against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
The antiwar demonstration took place as the German parliament was discussing the response to events in Ukraine.Image: Markus Schreiber/AP Photo/picture alliance

At least 100,000 people gathered in the center of Berlin to demonstrate against Russia's invasion of Ukraine as the German parliament was in an extraordinary session over the response to the resulting security crisis.

Huge crowd protests Russian war on Ukraine

Greenpeace Germany placed the number of those in attendance at 500,000, whereas Berlin police said a fraction of that number had gathered, estimating the crowd size "at least a low six-number figure." 

Many of those in attendance dressed in the sunflower yellow and sky blue of the Ukrainian flag. They carried signs with slogans including "No World War 3" and "Stop the killer" as they amassed at the Brandenburg Gate, located near the Russian Embassy on central Berlin's Under den Linden avenue.

Hans Georg Kieler, 49, who attended the demonstration said: "It is important to me for Germany to show that it is standing for democracy in Europe."

DW journalist Elliot Douglas, who was at the Berlin demonstration near the Brandenburg Gate, reported that there were massive crowds lining the central axis of the city chanting for peace and that organizers said over loudspeakers that police had only been expecting only 20,000 people to show up.

Down the street from the Brandenburg Gate, DW reporter William Glucroft said hundreds of people stood outside the Russian Embassy to protest the Kremlin aggression.

Ukrainian protester Valeria Moiseeva, 35, said her mother was afraid as she sits in a bomb shelter in Kyiv. She said she attended the protest because "I can't do more than that."

An alliance of labor unions, religious institutions, local initiatives, environmental protection organizations, and peace activists organized the massive demonstration, under the motto "Stop the war: Peace for Ukraine and all of Europe."

ar/dj (AFP, dpa)