Russia-Ukraine: Dozens of people protest the invasion of Ukraine outside the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh

Around 40 people gathered outside the Consulate General of Russia in Edinburgh to voice support and peacefully protest the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Thursday, 24th February 2022, 7:22 pm

Protesters began gathering as early as midday on Thursday outside the consulate on Melville Street carrying flags and placards sharing their support for the Ukrainian people and demanding that President Putin withdraw his troops.

Some shared no personal connection with the country or its residents, simply choosing to attend because they felt compelled, while others fear for the lives of their family and friends.

Ruslana, a 22-year-old Ukrainian student, told the Evening News that her entire family lives in Ukraine – less than 60 miles from the Russian border – and while they are anxious, they are not afraid.

The University of Glasgow student: “Many Ukrainians knew the invasion would happen, especially after Putin’s speech on Monday which was full of hateful rhetoric towards Ukrainians, towards everything we love, our culture and our country which he claims does not exist.”

Directing her comments towards Putin and the Russian Government, Ruslana said: “You will lose. Someone very, very hateful just like you lost in 1945 and you will lose again. We know that Ukrainians are very strong and we have the support of the entire world.

"I urge the entire world to not sit this one out, do not leave Ukraine, be with us.”

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A couple of demonstrators holding a sign which reads "Get out of Ukraine". (Picture credit: Lisa Ferguson)

Another protester, Majan Poikhylyy who was born in Kyiv, described the attack as a “horror movie”.

The 28-year-old said: “I was watching CNN live and he [Putin] was just finishing his speech about starting a military operation. But then I go onto Facebook and then I see explosion here, explosion there.

“I was watching the whole night my country get bombed. I was watching it live. And it was a horror movie. And I don’t want to watch that horror movie.”

With family in the country’s capital, Mr Poikhylyy said he is constantly keeping in touch and worrying about how they are and how the situation is developing.

Demonstrators protest outside the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh following Putin ordering the invasion of Ukraine. (Picture credit: Lisa Ferguson)

He continued: “I have been speaking to my friends in Kyiv on the chats, on the Facebook chats, sometimes live video, and we’re just reading the news together and being scared and supportive to each other.

“It’s just a really scary time. I think a lot of people abroad from Ukraine can see it happening but they just can’t do anything and it’s really frustrating.”

Michael Worobec, a demonstrator protesting on behalf of his father and all other Ukrainians, said had he been alive today, his father would have been in tears over what is happening to his beautiful country.

Ruslana, a Ukrainian student protesting the invasion of her home country. (Picture credit: Lisa Ferguson)

“Ukrainians are very emotional," he said.

"My father would be crying that his motherland is being invaded by thugs. I just pray that modern Russian people will rise because the man [Putin] is obviously insane and he has some sort of vendetta against Ukraine, I don’t understand."

Mr Worobec added that he hopes more people rally together in the coming days and turn out at institutions such as the Russian consulate as they have today because “voicing support is all we can do at the moment.”

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Around 40 demonstrators turned out to protest outside the Russian Consulate on Thursday as Putin continues his invasion of Ukraine. (Picture Lisa Ferguson)