Thousands of demonstrators for Ukraine: pro-Russian processions pass through Cologne

Thousands of demonstrators for Ukraine
Pro-Russian processions pass through Cologne

On the 77th anniversary of liberation from National Socialism, hundreds drive through Cologne, waving the Russian flag and expressing their support for Russia. At the same time, many more participants are coming to the counter-demonstrations – and showing their solidarity with Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine sent thousands onto the streets of Cologne on Sunday for very different reasons. In the morning, a motorcycle parade took place on the outskirts of the cathedral city, during which, according to the police, around 150 people expressed their support for Russia. Later, around 1,000 people gathered in several hundred vehicles at Fühlinger See for a motorcade – among them were many supporters of Russian head of state Vladimir Putin.

Elena Kolbasnikova organized the procession and told the “Bild” newspaper that Ukraine “was waging a war against the peaceful population of Donbass since 2014”. Similar to propaganda released by the Kremlin, he accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of being “controlled by the Nazis”.

At the end of the afternoon, a pro-Ukrainian demonstration took place at the Deutz shipyard, in which 10,000 people had registered. Because about 50 people carrying Ukrainian flags had positioned themselves on the planned route at one point, the route was diverted. The police wanted to avoid a meeting of the different groups. According to the police, there were no unusual incidents on the trip, which was accompanied by a large number of police cars.

Processions also in Saarland

Attendees had flags of Russia and the Soviet Union on the hood or passengers held them out the window. On stickers and banners they demanded an end to German arms deliveries to Ukraine. There were small groups of counter-protesters on the side of the road and loud exchanges broke out as they passed. “So far we have no evidence of any major clashes or riots,” a police spokeswoman said.

A participant in the procession had her photo taken with a Soviet flag.

(Picture: picture alliance/dpa)

Before the meeting began, officials briefly detained a 49-year-old man who wanted to show up to the opening rally with a Ukrainian flag, police said. In the evening, the police added that the emergency services briefly stopped the parade of cars in the afternoon “in order to draw attention again to the respect of the prescriptions with a view to road safety”.

Also in Saarland, around 300 people took part in a pro-Russian procession from Zweibrücken to Saarbrücken. About 85 vehicles were involved, police said. The end took place in the parking lot of the main cemetery in Saarbrücken. The protest was peaceful. Several participants had flags attached to their cars that violated conditions, including the Soviet one. On request, these have been removed. It will be verified whether criminal or administrative proceedings will be initiated.

Leave a Comment