A group of demonstrators gathered at College Green this afternoon (Sunday, October 16) to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the escalation of military action.
The event was organised by University of Bristol PhD student Anastasiya Oleksiyenko. She says they are “speaking up against recent war crimes committed by Russia,” and estimated that at least one hundred people were there as the event started at midday.
Protesters say they also want to see further military and economic assistance from the West. Speaking to Bristol Live as people started to arrive, Anastasiya thanked people in Bristol for their support, particularly those taking part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
She said: “People are so grateful that they have a place, a roof over their heads so that they can start to build a life in the UK – whether that’s temporarily or for longer-term.
“Many people have lost their homes [in Ukraine], it’s just such a terrible situation, and the fact that they get physical and mental support here means a lot.”
She spoke of three points of political action they are calling for:
- “Ukraine needs access to more weapons. Currently US is considering whether to supply Ukraine with long-range missiles ATACMS. We need these missiles to get an advantage and re-gain Crimea. Ukraine does not have and has never had any intent to use weapons beyond its goal to defend itself.
- “Russia should face maximum sanctions: embargo on its exports of oil and gas and imports of metals. Full economic isolation.
- “Russia should be expelled from the UN security council, for the very violation of the UN charter.”
Footage is from our reporter at the scene, Shashana Brown.
This is a live blog, we will post updates when we get them.