‘At present I believe everyone is Ukrainian’ – anti-war protests happen throughout U.S.

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Demonstrators in a number of main U.S. cities protested the invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to halt the missile and troop assault as U.S. President Joe Biden introduced new sanctions in opposition to Russia.

Regardless of freezing temperatures, a whole bunch of protesters in Manhattan marched to the Russian mission to the United Nations, some cloaked in Ukrainian flags and chanting “cease the struggle” and “cease Russia now.” New York Metropolis has the most important Ukrainian neighborhood in the US.

“I used to be born in Ukraine … however at this time I believe everyone is Ukrainian,” stated Ivana Lotoshynski, a U.S. citizen protesting in Instances Sq.. “It would not matter the place you had been born, the place you reside. Individuals are dropping their lives proper now. Ukrainians are preventing in opposition to this regime from Russia and … it’s actually devastating.”

Marcin Branowski, a Polish pupil dwelling in New York, stated he felt compelled to point out his assist for Ukraine.

“My complete household is in Poland and I am fairly terrified as to what’s going to occur if the scenario continues,” Branowski stated.

Anstasiia Yashchenko, a resident of Kyiv, instructed Reuters her household and associates had been foremost on her thoughts whereas she attended the protest together with her boyfriend, who had flown her to New York Metropolis 10 days earlier.

“I packed every little thing in like two suitcases and I simply ran out of the house and simply left,” stated Yashchenko, 23. She stated she had hoped tensions would reduce, and couldn’t consider her eyes when watching the invasion unfold early Thursday.

In sunny Los Angeles, on the opposite facet of the nation, about 300 folks gathered exterior a federal authorities constructing, holding banners and waving Ukrainian flags whereas many passing motorists honked horns in assist.

“Now we have to point out solidarity,” stated Andrew, 37, who had his younger little one strapped to him in a child service. “We stand right here for our folks,” he stated, including that he had household in each Ukraine and Russia.

The earliest protest on Thursday occurred exterior Russia’s embassy in Washington round 1 a.m. EST (0600 GMT), shortly after information broke that Russian forces had launched a large assault in opposition to its neighbor. learn extra

Extra protests occurred on Thursday in different U.S. cities, together with Washington, Houston, and Denver, in addition to cities world wide. learn extra

Russia’s invasion, the largest assault on a European nation since World Struggle Two, has left many Ukrainian-Individuals fearful for the security of family members nonetheless dwelling within the jap European nation.

One of many folks at Washington’s early-morning protest, which dispersed earlier than dawn, instructed Washington tv station WUSA that he had been pleading along with his mother and father and sister to depart and get to security for weeks, to no avail.

Dozens of Ukrainians started fleeing Ukraine into Poland and different neighboring central European international locations after Russia’s assault started on Thursday, some taking solely what they might carry and forsaking possessions and pets. learn extra

In Russia, protesters defied an official warning explicitly threatening legal prosecution and even jail time for these calling for or participating in protests. A whole lot rallied in cities together with Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

By night, police had detained no fewer than 1,667 folks in 53 cities, the OVD-Information rights monitor stated. 600 had been arrested in Moscow alone, the Tass information company reported.

Russians additionally joined the U.S. protests. Exterior the Russian U.N. mission in Manhattan on Thursday, Julia Makhalova, a 34-year-old who immigrated to New York from Russia in 2017, stated she feared Putin’s actions would escalate right into a full-blown world struggle.

“I believe it’s very scary general,” she stated in an interview. “The president is actually loopy.”

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Reporting by Julia Harte and Tyler Clifford in New York and Costas Pitas in Los Angeles; enhancing by Jonathan Oatis

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.