Protestors descend on London's Trafalgar Square to demonstrate against Putin's invasion of Ukraine


Hundreds of Ukrainians, Russians and Brits gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday to protest against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in a heart-warming show of solidarity. 

A huge banner was unfurled in front of the National Gallery which warned Britain: ‘When the last Ukrainian soldier falls, Putin will come for you ladies and gents.’

Another banner which had the appearance of being soaked in blood simply read ‘Stop Putin’, while others held signs comparing the warring president to Adolf Hitler and branding him a ‘monster’. 

Before a series of speeches, the Ukrainian national anthem sang out, which was carried by the crowds when the speakers stopped working. 

Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the papal nuncio to Great Britain, also led a prayer, telling the crowds: ‘Today we are all Ukrainians.’ 

Briton Kevin Greenan, 75, a retired hotel manager from Pimlico, said: ‘You have to stand up against injustice. I just find the West to be weak and this poor country is paying for weakness.

‘Women and children are being murdered by an insane man. If he’s insane, take him out.

‘I don’t have any connection with Ukraine, but we are connected by mankind.’

While Russians were a minority in number, those who showed said they were there to fight against Putin’s war.  

Katja, 22, who declined to give her last name, said she wanted to show solidarity with Ukraine. 

She added: ‘My entire family live in Russia but what Putin is doing the Ukrainian people is against human rights and he needs to be stopped. 

Woman shouts slogans while carrying a placard reading: 'Protect Ukraine, save Europe' during a protest to support Ukraine in Trafalgar Square, central London on Saturday

Woman shouts slogans while carrying a placard reading: ‘Protect Ukraine, save Europe’ during a protest to support Ukraine in Trafalgar Square, central London on Saturday

People take part in a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, to denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine

People take part in a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, to denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine

A demonstrator carries a Ukrainian flag while donning a floral wreath on her head during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine

A demonstrator carries a Ukrainian flag while donning a floral wreath on her head during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

A woman with a Ukrainian flag holds a banner reading: 'My friends are on the front line... STOP', as she takes part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London, Britain March 5, 2022

A woman with a Ukrainian flag holds a banner reading: ‘My friends are on the front line… STOP’, as she takes part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London, Britain March 5, 2022

A man holds a banner depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler, as he takes part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London

A man holds a banner depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler, as he takes part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London

A woman holds a banner reading: 'Putin child killer', as she takes part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square

A woman holds a banner reading: ‘Putin child killer’, as she takes part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square

A child looks on during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while holding a sign reading: 'Stop Putin, stop war!'

A child looks on during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while holding a sign reading: ‘Stop Putin, stop war!’ 

People marching in solidarity with Ukraine hold up signs simply reading: 'Stop war'

People marching in solidarity with Ukraine hold up signs simply reading: ‘Stop war’

A woman holds a banner with the colours of the Ukrainian flag as she takes part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London on Saturday

A woman holds a banner with the colours of the Ukrainian flag as she takes part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London on Saturday 

Demonstrators gather in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar square in central London on March 5, 2022 to take part in a rally to show their support for Ukraine

Demonstrators gather in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar square in central London on March 5, 2022 to take part in a rally to show their support for Ukraine

Demonstrators hold a banner reading: 'Putin will come for you', as they gather in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar square

Demonstrators hold a banner reading: ‘Putin will come for you’, as they gather in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar square

A family embrace one another during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Trafalgar Square

A family embrace one another during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Trafalgar Square 

A woman wearing a badge with the colours of the Ukrainian flag on her cap reading "Glory to Ukraine" takes part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square

A woman wearing a badge with the colours of the Ukrainian flag on her cap reading ‘Glory to Ukraine’ takes part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square

‘He’s a dictator. It’s indescribable what he’s doing. It’s another Stalin, another Hitler. He needs to be stopped.

‘I had to come out because Russians are being arrested for doing what I am doing now.

‘In England we have a right to protest. In Russia, people have been arrested, been beaten up, some people I know have been threatened to be drafted if they protest – that’s why I have to speak up.

‘It’s shocking. It’s disgusting. I’m ashamed it’s done. We have to fight against him instead of recoil in fear.

‘Some people have tried to flee Russia because of the sanctions, but they need to stand and fight.

‘I’ve been coming out since last Sunday, every day, and I think it shows that more Russians need to stand up.

‘I know some people have been scared to come to these protests, like they fear they’re going to be picked on, but it’s actually the opposite: Ukrainian people know that not every Russian person supports this.’

Nikolai Alekseyev, 41, a funeral director from Moscow but now lives in Ealing, said: ‘My heart breaks when I see the news and I see what Putin is doing.

‘It’s not in my name. Ukraine deserves every Russian person to stand up against Putin to tell him that he will be stopped.

‘We stand with all the sanctions. I have family who still believes his lies, so I hope that the truth breaks through to them.’

Anna Korenkova, 31, a market researcher originally from Ukraine, has been at the protests nearly every day.

She said: ‘It gets harder and harder to digest the amount of death and destruction every day.

People take part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London

People take part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London

A girl sitting on a relative's shoulders holds a placard reading: 'We support Ukraine', during a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Trafalgar Square

A girl sitting on a relative’s shoulders holds a placard reading: ‘We support Ukraine’, during a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Trafalgar Square

Demonstrators carry banners, with one reading: 'Putin kills', at a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square

Demonstrators carry banners, with one reading: ‘Putin kills’, at a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square

A woman holds up a sign telling Putin: 'f off', during a protest in support of Ukraine at Trafalgar Square on Saturday

A woman holds up a sign telling Putin: ‘f off’, during a protest in support of Ukraine at Trafalgar Square on Saturday 

Hundreds gather in Trafalgar Square waving Ukrainian and Union Jack flags during a protest against Russia's invasion

Hundreds gather in Trafalgar Square waving Ukrainian and Union Jack flags during a protest against Russia’s invasion 

Demonstrators carry banners at a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, with a huge one reading: 'When the last Ukrainian soldier falls, Putin will come for you'

Demonstrators carry banners at a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, with a huge one reading: ‘When the last Ukrainian soldier falls, Putin will come for you’

Protestor carries a sign urging the west to 'be more Zelensky' - referencing the bravery shown by the Ukrainian president

Protestor carries a sign urging the west to ‘be more Zelensky’ – referencing the bravery shown by the Ukrainian president

People hold banners - one depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin - as they take part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine

People hold banners – one depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin – as they take part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

A woman appears to get emotional while taking part in a protest in support of Ukraine in Trafalgar Square on Saturday

A woman appears to get emotional while taking part in a protest in support of Ukraine in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 

A woman holds a banner reading: 'Stop the war', as she takes part in a protest against Russia's invasion

A woman holds a banner reading: ‘Stop the war’, as she takes part in a protest against Russia’s invasion 

‘I don’t know if we can avoid further conflict with Russia given the conditions and now is the time to act.

‘I spoke to my grandmother today, who is 83 and alone in Kyiv, and my friends on the front line, who badly need support.

‘She’s really scared that people don’t realise what is happening. The Ukrainian people really appreciate the support of people in the UK, but it’s not enough. There needs to be more sanctions.

‘I’m speaking today and I read the Winston Churchill speeches this morning: it’s incredible the similarities, the same calls to action.

‘Putin has bigger ambitions and it doesn’t stop at Ukraine. This isn’t going to stop if we don’t try and stop it.’

Nadiya Tokarisha, 52, of Lancaster Gate, was with her mother Maria, 75, and her father Voldimir, 79, at the protest.

The family are from the west of Ukraine, and have been in the UK since 2000.

She said: ‘This protest today proves that when Ukraine is victorious against Russia, it will not just be a Ukrainian victory.

‘It will be a victory for the UK. It will be a victory for the Poles, the Lithuanians, the Georgians – everyone who is standing up against injustice.

‘My mum’s family are still there. We speak every day. They inspire us every day and it reminds us to be strong.

‘With God everything is possible, I pray for peace every day.’

Ginte Regina, 27, a filmmaker from Lithuania, said: ‘We share a lot of the same history with Ukraine and understand the threat first hand and know that it’s not just about Ukraine, it’s about eastern Europe and all of Europe.

‘I’ve been every day this week. I think it’s good for me personally as well because at least once a day you’re with people who understand and care.

‘I’ve never thought I would advocate for war but the only way to do with a terrorist is force, and that’s how we should deal with Putin.’

A woman wearing a ribbon with the colours of the Ukrainian flag takes part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London

A woman wearing a ribbon with the colours of the Ukrainian flag takes part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square, in London

Man holds up sign reading: 'My cat hates Putin!' during central London protest on Saturday

Man holds up sign reading: ‘My cat hates Putin!’ during central London protest on Saturday 

A woman holds banners - one depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the other pleading: 'No war' - as she takes part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine

A woman holds banners – one depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the other pleading: ‘No war’ – as she takes part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

'Putin - wanted for genocide and war crimes': Protestors hold up signs in Trafalgar Square on Saturday

‘Putin – wanted for genocide and war crimes’: Protestors hold up signs in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 

Protestor holds up an image of Putin with the word 'Monster' emblazoned above his head

Protestor holds up an image of Putin with the word ‘Monster’ emblazoned above his head 

A man and a woman hold a banner reading: 'Stop Russian genocide on Ukraine' as they take part in a protest against Russia's invasion

A man and a woman hold a banner reading: ‘Stop Russian genocide on Ukraine’ as they take part in a protest against Russia’s invasion

The Elizabeth Tower, more commonly known as the Big Ben, is seen as people take part in a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square

The Elizabeth Tower, more commonly known as the Big Ben, is seen as people take part in a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at Trafalgar Square

A woman appears to pray during a central London protest on Saturday against Russia's Ukraine invasion

A woman appears to pray during a central London protest on Saturday against Russia’s Ukraine invasion 

Woman holds up a sign reading: 'World with Ukraine' during a protest against Russia's invasion of the eastern European country

Woman holds up a sign reading: ‘World with Ukraine’ during a protest against Russia’s invasion of the eastern European country 

People take part in a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, to denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as one sign on the floor is made to look blood-soaked while reading: 'Stop Putin'

People take part in a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, to denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as one sign on the floor is made to look blood-soaked while reading: ‘Stop Putin’ 

Protestors speak to the crowds at Trafalgar Square on Saturday during a protest to support Ukraine

Protestors speak to the crowds at Trafalgar Square on Saturday during a protest to support Ukraine 

A demonstrator holds a sign reading: 'Putler hands off' - referencing an amalgamation of the names Putin and Hitler

A demonstrator holds a sign reading: ‘Putler hands off’ – referencing an amalgamation of the names Putin and Hitler 

A demonstrator holds a yellow placard reading: 'Protect Ukraine, save Europe' as she takes part in a rally in Trafalgar square in central London, on March 5, 2022

A demonstrator holds a yellow placard reading: ‘Protect Ukraine, save Europe’ as she takes part in a rally in Trafalgar square in central London, on March 5, 2022

Two protestors hold up signs simply reading: 'Stop Putin', during a protest against Russia's invasion

Two protestors hold up signs simply reading: ‘Stop Putin’, during a protest against Russia’s invasion 

A man donning a yellow and blue mask holds up a sign reading: 'Putin, don't be like your dad...learn to pull out', during a protest in Trafalgar Square on Saturday

A man donning a yellow and blue mask holds up a sign reading: ‘Putin, don’t be like your dad…learn to pull out’, during a protest in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 

Demonstrators hold placards and Ukranian national flags as they gather in Trafalgar square in central London, on March 5, 2022

Demonstrators hold placards and Ukranian national flags as they gather in Trafalgar square in central London, on March 5, 2022

Natalia Ravlyuk, a Ukrainian volunteer who helped organise the protest, told the crowd: ‘For those 10 days, Ukraine is fighting Russia alone. Ukraine is fighting Russia for Europe and for the world.

‘They say Russia is strong, but it is not. Because Ukraine has showed that Russia is not that strong and Ukraine will win.

‘Ukraine is not afraid to stand against Russia. Ukraine is not afraid to stand up to protect Europe and to protect the world.

‘If Ukraine gives up, then you are all in trouble. Ukraine is fighting to the end.

‘I wake up wondering every day if my family is still alive. I wake up wondering if I have a home to go back to. I wake up wondering if I have any childhood memories left.

‘But that is not a reason to cry because we have to stay strong for Ukraine..’ 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.