Ukrainians stand up against Putin friends in Frankfurt

Et is difficult to imagine how Ukrainians feel who have fled their homeland to Frankfurt to escape the Russian war of aggression and come across Putin sympathizers here. That’s exactly what happened on Sunday: the two camps met in the city center at a pro-Russian and a pro-Ukrainian rally.

34-year-old Alexander comes from Dnipro, but has lived in Frankfurt for years. He came to Goetheplatz with his wife and son: “We want to draw attention to ourselves with a large counter-demonstration.” Together with his family, he wants to show that the voice of the Ukrainian people has not fallen silent even after six months of war . The police counted around 350 people at the rally, most of whom had a blue and yellow flag around their shoulders.

Artem, 28, comes from Moscow but also carries the Ukrainian flag today. He has not missed a pro-Ukrainian demonstration since the war began in late February. “When I see the latest news from Izyum, I immediately feel the need to go to a rally,” he says. When asked how it feels when a few steps away against arms shipments to the Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, he replies: “It makes me angry.” Most of his family supports him, but there are still family members and friends who believe Russian television.

“Russian propaganda is more dangerous than Covid”

Olga Lyabakh, who came to Germany from Bucha, speaks at the pro-Ukrainian rally. She warns of the dangers of Russian propaganda: “This is an epidemic that is more dangerous than Covid because no distance and no vaccination helps against it.” She also tells of bomb attacks that she survived with several families in the basement of her house. “There was an Uzbek family who phoned their grandfather in Russia. He didn’t believe the son and daughter-in-law that they were being shot at. Russian television would show that there were no attacks and no deaths.”

The other side also wants peace, but under different omens than the Ukrainians.

The other side also wants peace, but under different omens than the Ukrainians.

Image: Tom Wesse

Since all speeches are translated, the applause indicates that most of the participants are Ukrainians. The German supporters are in the minority. They also include representatives of the parties from the Romans. When the honorary city councilor Stephan Siegler (CDU) takes the microphone and calls for negotiations with Putin to restore the borders before 2014, there is no translation. Individuals shouted angrily: “No negotiations with Putin”. What the crowd wants, on the other hand, is clear, they keep chanting: “Heavy weapons for Ukraine” and “sanctions for Russia”.

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