Kremlin sympathisers in Moscow protested outside the embassies of 20 Western countries on Saturday. The demonstrations took place to mark the ninth anniversary of the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
Mobilising against Western support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion last year, pro-Putin demonstrators gathered outside the embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, as well as other allies of Ukraine. It was not clear, however, whether a demonstration took place outside the Belgian embassy.
At the US embassy about 400 protesters were present, a correspondent for the French news agency AFP noted. People were seen holding placards with messages such as “The United States is causing deaths” and “Crimea belongs to Russia forever.” Some 200 people protested in front of the British embassy.
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According to a Russian youth movement co-organising the demonstration, a total of 5,000 people marched in protest against the countries supplying weapons to Ukraine. The organisation’s chairman, Anton Demidov, argues that those arms deliveries are part of a plan by Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky and US President Joe Biden to retake Crimea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Crimea on Saturday, reports Russian state news agency Tass.