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Thousands rally in Germany to protest against sending weapons to Ukraine

A demonstrator displays a placard (R) reading: "Diplomats instead of grenades" as protesters attend an anti-war rally in Berlin, on February 25, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Thousands of people have taken part in a demonstration in the German capital against supplying Ukraine with weapons, a day after the first anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine military confrontation.

German police said about 10,000 people gathered in central Berlin on Saturday to call for negotiations with Russia rather than escalating the war by supplying Kiev with weapons.

“We call on the German chancellor to stop the escalation of arms deliveries. Now!...Because every day lost costs up to 1,000 more lives - and brings us closer to a 3rd world war," the protest's organizers said on their website.

"Negotiate, not escalate," one sign held by a demonstrator said, while a banner in the crowd read, "Not our war.”

Police mobilized 1,400 officials to keep the peace in the city.

Germany, along with the US, has been one of the biggest suppliers of weapons for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, in the French capital, several hundred people gathered at Place de la Republique, calling for an end to the war in Ukraine.

"Hundreds of Parisians and Ukrainians [...] were marching in solidarity with Ukraine and also in memory of the victims of the war,” FRANCE 24 reported Saturday.

The demonstrations came a day after thousands of people took to the streets across Europe to mark one year since Russia launched a military campaign in Ukraine.

Since then, the United States and the European Union have supplied Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles, tanks, and communication systems despite Russia's repeated warnings that the Western military assistance will only prolong the war.

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