In the mildly sunny noon, Gothenburgers gathered at the Gustav Adolf Torg, the central square in the 400-old-city, in protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Hundreds of residents gathered around the statue of Gustav Adolf on the high pedestal shouting slogans against the Russian president Vladimir Putin. The blue-and-white national flags of Ukraine were prominently visible in the crowd. A placard said, ‘Putin Go Home.’
Russia-Ukraine War 2022:
Russia had started invading Ukraine on 24 of this month by launching a large-scale invasion. Ukraine borders Russia in the southwest. Experts say this is the largest conventional warfare operation in the 21st century since the Second World War. Earlier this year there were reports that Russia would invade Ukraine any time this year. This became a reality now.
In response to the Russian invasion the EU and the US had imposed economic sanctions, and many countries have banned the movement of Russian airplanes in their airspace.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been reigning over the country for almost two decades, has been critical of the enlargement of NATO. Russia construes NATO enlargement in its bordering States in the west as a threat to its security. The country has maintained that Ukraine should remain neutral by not joining NATO. But the current Russian invasion is forcing thousands of Ukrainians to flee their country for safety, especially women and children.
“The number of refugees from Ukraine who have crossed to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and other countries is escalating and is now 368,000,” tweeted Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “The governments and people of those countries are welcoming refugees. It is now urgent to share this responsibility in concrete ways.”
In response to the Russian invasion 14 14 EU countries – Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Poland – have shut off their airspace to Russian aircraft. The UK did it last week. Meanwhile, Austrian Airlines said on Saturday that it was canceling flights to Russia and avoiding Russian airspace for at least seven days. Swiss International Air Lines is maintaining flights for now.