In Frankfurt, hundreds of people demonstrated “against hatred and harassment”. In Lübeck, police stopped a convoy showing its “support for Russia’s war”.
Several pro-Russian rallies took place in Germany this weekend at the initiative of the country’s large Russian-speaking community, which sees itself as a victim of discrimination since the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
About 600 people
On Sunday, around 600 people, waving a wave of Russian tricolor flags, gathered in downtown Frankfurt under the motto “Against hatred and harassment,” AFP noted. The local police told the AFP news agency how many people were gathered at the same time in Hanover in the north of the country at the request of members of the Russian-speaking community. The day before there had been demonstrations of the same kind in northern Lübeck with 150 participants, the police said, and in Stuttgart.
In Frankfurt, the protesters first found themselves near the city’s financial district, where they faced a pro-Ukrainian counter-demonstration of about 100 people, the two camps separated by a large police cordon.
According to the organizers, the pro-Russian demonstration was to reach the city’s main cemetery and lay flowers on the graves of Soviet soldiers who died in World War II. At the head of the procession was a banner reading “Truth and Diversity of Opinion instead of PROPAGANDA”.
In Hanover, where the pro-Russian demonstrators organized a car convoy in single file under strict police surveillance, a counter-demonstration with 3,500 people gathered under the motto “Support Ukraine!”, according to the police.
The day before, police in Lübeck had stopped a similar convoy of about sixty vehicles for “violations of the legislation,” specifically “supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as a ban on using symbols,” local police said.
The German authorities fear that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict will be imported into German territory. Germany has 1.2 million people who themselves or their families are from Russia and 325,000 from Ukraine, to which must be added more than 316,000 Ukrainian refugees in the past month.
The increase in demonstrations against “Russophobia,” which Germany would have won, has sparked a lively debate in the country because the authorities see it as a danger of instrumentalization in favor of the theses defended by Moscow during the war. Since the invasion of Ukraine began, the police have registered 383 anti-Russian and 181 anti-Ukrainian crimes.