Anti-war protest outside Russian embassy in Warsaw attracts large numbers

Rafał Guz/PAP

Several hundred people are on Thursday taking part in a protest outside the Russian Embassy in Warsaw to demonstrate against the war and show solidarity with Ukraine.

Just after 10 am a demonstration against the war in Ukraine began in front of the Russian Embassy in Poland. Several hundred people gathered near the Russian embassy building on Belwederska Street in Warsaw. The protest is being joined by many more people as the morning progresses.

The demonstrators are waving the flags of Ukraine, Poland and the European Union and holding up anti-war banners.

According to PAP's reporter at the scene, Russians are also taking part in the demonstration. They are holding cardboard banners with the words "not in my name" painted on them.

Opposition party MPs are also attending the demonstration.

Michał Szczerba of main oppositionist grouping the Civic Coalition said that "no one in the 21st century can change borders, cannot break international law with military force, tanks and weapons."

"What we feared in the last few months has happened. It is not only recognition of the puppet separatist rule, but of really Putin's agents. It is simply an invasion," he said. “The whole free world must speak with one voice, he added.

The demonstration was organised by the Union of Ukrainians in Poland, together with the Citizens' Committee of Solidarity with Ukraine, the Our Choice Foundation and the Ukrainian House in Warsaw.

Representatives of these organisations via social media called on "all Poles, Ukrainians and other people who do not agree to war in the middle of Europe in the 21st century" to join the protest.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday morning that Russian troops from various directions are attacking Ukrainian cities, including from the occupied Donbas and Crimea. Later, Ukrainian authorities said that columns of Russian troops had crossed the eastern, southern and northern borders of the country. Ukraine is exercising its right to self-defence, in line with international law, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

In connection with the situation, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has introduced martial law throughout the country.