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Anti-war protesters in London demand West stop arming Ukraine

Picture taken in London on February 25, 2023, shows protesters demanding an end to the war in Ukraine.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in London and Paris, as well as other major capitals across Europe, demanding an end to the ongoing war in Ukraine and urging the Western governments to stop supplying Kiev with weapons.

The demonstrations took place in the major European capitals on Saturday, a day after an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine entered its second year.

The Saturday rally in London was organized by Stop the War Coalition. It was held at Portland Place in the city's central area, from which the participants marched towards the Trafalgar Square.

The London rally was attended by Jeremy Corbyn, a former Labour Party leader and a current member of the parliament.

Corbyn called on world leaders to unite their actions in order to bring peace to Ukraine. He added that hatred, poverty, terrorism and refugees are all fruits of war, warning that a new conflict will be just around the corner if the world leaders do nothing about the war in Ukraine.

The protesters in London also chanted anti-war slogans, while holding banners calling for an end to the West's incessant campaign of pumping weapons into Ukraine.

Kiev's Western allies have so far provided it with billions of dollars worth of heavy arms. Moscow has repeatedly warned that arming Ukraine will only prolong the war and add to suffering of its people.

"I don't agree with sending weapons [to Ukraine] because, it extends the war," said Dalia Sanchez, an anti-war activist, adding the Western military alliance of NATO and Russia should engage in talks to prevent more escalation and deaths.

John Clark, another anti-war demonstrator, said NATO's eastward expansion was not right, adding, "I am here today just because I think we need to stop warmongers and we need to reconsider what is happening."

A counterrally was also held in London, calling for increased military supply to Ukraine. Pro-Ukraine demonstrators held banners, calling for arming Ukraine to stop Russia.

In Paris, hundreds of people demonstrated against the war in Ukraine, while singing Ukraine's national anthem at Place de la Republique. According to the police, the rally attracted around 3,000 participants.

Other demonstrations simultaneously took place in other French cities such as Bordeaux, Rennes or Montpellier, as well as in other European capitals such as Berlin and Brussels.

In Berlin some 10,000 people gathered in the central part of the city, calling for negotiations with Russia rather than escalation of the war through supplying Kiev with more 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 third world war," the protest's organizers said on their website.

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

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