Protests against the Russian aggression on Ukraine took place in several European cities today. Rallies were also reported in Moscow, but were banned, so the opposition called for dissatisfaction to be expressed through social media. In Croatia, the largest antiwar rally was held at Zagreb's central Ban Jelačić square. "We gathered to express solidarity with the Ukrainian people and their suffering," it was said at the square. The Ukrainian ambassador to Croatia, Vasily Kirlich, visibly shaken, called on NATO to close the skies over Ukraine and thus save the lives of Ukrainians.
The gathering on Ban Jelačić Square was organized by the Croatian Helsinki Committee and the Association of Ukrainians of the City of Zagreb in support of Ukraine - a victim of Russian aggression. An emotional speech was given by the Ukrainian Ambassador to Croatia Vasily Kirilich, who burst into tears and said that there is no time for thoughts and statements, and that it is time for action - because war becomes genocide.
“Besides this cry, there must be action. We must ask; I ask the world, I ask Europe, I ask NATO, to halt this devil, to halt him in Ukraine so he doesn't need to be stopped in Eastern European countries,” said Ambassador Kirilich.
Kirilich then made a plea “For us to together call upon NATO to close the skies as a manner of saving Ukraine.”
Every speech ended with the greeting Slava Ukraini or Glory to Ukraine, which was warmly repeated by those gathered. A minute of silence was also held in memory of all those killed.
The rally was supported by ambassadors of European Union countries to Croatia, and French ambassador Gael Veysierre, whose country currently holds the presidency of the Union, said that he was speaking on behalf of the entire Union.
"We condemn the aggression and we want a halt to war. We want it immediately," said Ambassador Veysierre.
Other speakers included Actors Goran Navojec and Vedran Mlikota who read excerpts from the poem "The Caucuses" by Taras Shevchenko.
Also speaking were former Ukrainian minority representative in Croatian parliament Boris Graljuk, Member of European Parliament Tonino Picula, government representative Radovan Fuchs and parliament representative Zdravka Bušić.
In the name of the Croatian Helsinki Committee, Ivan Zvonimir Čičak said that in Ukraine, freedom, democracy and humanity are being defended and that a war between good and evil is taking place.
In the end he thanked everyone for being united with Ukraine and said “Slava Ukraini!”
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