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Pro-Russia demonstrations in Germany this weekend have been condemned by critics as 'parades of shame'.
Over the weekend, thousands of Putin-backing protesters took to the streets in Germany – however, they were outnumbered by Ukraine supporters, police have said.
Protests promoting Kremlin's war policies - one ofthe downsides of allowing Russian security services run video channels in your country. Maybe time to take Ruptly and RT down in Germany. https://t.co/P6GSqQ6VMQ— Jessikka Aro ⚠️ Putin's Trolls (@JessikkaAro) April 10, 2022
The protesters staged rallies in Frankfurt and Hanover, calling to end the discrimination towards Germany's Russian-speaking population amid the invasion of Ukraine. It comes after similar protests in Berlin last week, which Germany's Bild newspaper described as a 'parade of shame'.
It's believed approximately 235,000 Russian citizens live in Germany. However, while 135,000 Ukrainians also lived there prior to the invasion, a further 300,000 have arrived since Putin's operation began.
Pro-Russia protesters rallied in Germany on Sunday, the country's Russian-speaking population demanding an end to the discrimination it says it has suffered since war began in Ukraine.— AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 11, 2022
Authorities fear the protests are promoting Moscow's war narrativehttps://t.co/s4kxiqSa3I pic.twitter.com/9UTeDuQ0x3
While an estimated 800 people marched through Frankfurt, around 600 pro-Russian protesters in a motorcade of 400 cars flew Russian flags as they drove through Hanover, Reuters reports. Some of the cars also sported the 'Z' symbol.
Those in Frankfurt were denied permission for a motorcade, instead marching while chanting 'Russia' and holding signs reading: "Truth and diversity instead of propaganda."
The pro-Russian protesters faced off with around 2,500 pro-Ukrainian demonstrators across Frankfurt, armed with 'Stop War' signs and Ukrainian flags painted on their faces.
Both sides generally remained peaceful, although police officers reprimanded some protesters for chanting 'Donbas belongs to Russia', the region of Ukraine with the so-called people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The protests have drawn sharp criticism from officials since last week's demonstrations in Berlin.
Das ist eine Riesenblamage Deutschlands und eine echte Bankrotterklärung der zögerlichen 🇩🇪Politik.— Andrij Melnyk (@MelnykAndrij) April 10, 2022
Ist das noch Meinungsfreiheit?
Oder eine geduldete Verherrlichung eines 🇷🇺Vernichtungskriegs gegen 🇺🇦Frauen & Kinder?
Shame on you https://t.co/WMccmBsVEf
Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, tweeted: "For heaven’s sake, how could they allow this motorcade of shame to take place in the middle of Berlin""
While that tweet was critical of Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey, she also wrote: "I understand the anger and condemn any utterance that plays down the Russian war of aggression."
Jessikka Aro, a journalist at Yleisradio, shared footage of the protests and wrote: "Protests promoting Kremlin's war policies – one of the downsides of allowing Russian security services run video channels in your country. Maybe time to take Ruptly and RT down in Germany."
Another user wrote: "Very strange to see Russian, Soviet and even DDR flags in a German car protest in support of Russia. Are these Russians living in Germany? Is the Russian Federation somehow supporting and mobilising these protests?"
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
Featured Image Credit: @peterjwilke/@warringtwenties/Twitter
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