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Thousands of people have gathered in London this afternoon as part of a march to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine amid Vladimir Putin‘s bloody invasion.

Protestors waved Ukrainian flags, held anti-war placards and sported yellow and blue outfits as they huddled together in their thousands and marched on Trafalgar Square for the ‘London Stands With Ukraine’ rally.

Activists joined with London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the march and vigil, spelling out a strong message of unity and support to the Ukrainian people from the capital. 

Trafalgar Square has been decorated in the colours of Ukraine, and British, Ukrainian and European politicans are all set to address the swelling crowds later on Saturday afternoon. 

Ukrainian refugees from the war-torn nation are expected to speak at the vigil, which is being held from between 3 and 5pm. 

They joined in global unison with fellow anti-war demonstrations being held across the world, including Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, Lithuania and Greece. 

The scenes come just days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on European citizens to ‘come to your squares and make yourselves visible’ in a stirring address on the eve of a one-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

Protestors waved Ukrainian flags, held anti-war placards and sported yellow and blue outfits as they huddled together in their thousands and marched on Trafalgar Square for the 'London Stands With Ukraine' rally

Protestors waved Ukrainian flags, held anti-war placards and sported yellow and blue outfits as they huddled together in their thousands and marched on Trafalgar Square for the 'London Stands With Ukraine' rally

Protestors waved Ukrainian flags, held anti-war placards and sported yellow and blue outfits as they huddled together in their thousands and marched on Trafalgar Square for the ‘London Stands With Ukraine’ rally

Activists joined with London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the march and vigil, spelling out a strong message of unity and support to the Ukrainian people from the capital. Pictured: Children sported yellow and blue outfits and waved flags

Activists joined with London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the march and vigil, spelling out a strong message of unity and support to the Ukrainian people from the capital. Pictured: Children sported yellow and blue outfits and waved flags

Activists joined with London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the march and vigil, spelling out a strong message of unity and support to the Ukrainian people from the capital. Pictured: Children sported yellow and blue outfits and waved flags

Trafalgar Square has been decorated in the colours of Ukraine, and British, Ukrainian and European politicans are all set to address the swelling crowds later on Saturday afternoon

Trafalgar Square has been decorated in the colours of Ukraine, and British, Ukrainian and European politicans are all set to address the swelling crowds later on Saturday afternoon

Trafalgar Square has been decorated in the colours of Ukraine, and British, Ukrainian and European politicans are all set to address the swelling crowds later on Saturday afternoon

Demonstrators wave Ukrainian national flags during a 'London stands with Ukraine' protest march and vigil, in central London

Demonstrators wave Ukrainian national flags during a 'London stands with Ukraine' protest march and vigil, in central London

Demonstrators wave Ukrainian national flags during a ‘London stands with Ukraine’ protest march and vigil, in central London

A placard depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen during a demonstration in support of Ukraine amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in central London

A placard depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen during a demonstration in support of Ukraine amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in central London

A placard depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen during a demonstration in support of Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in central London

Mr Khan and Ukraine’s ambassador, Vadym Prystaiko, are among those providing speeches on Saturday. Messages of support are also expected from the Mayors of Brussels, Amsterdam and Athens.

Other speakers today will include MP David Lammy, Chair of the London Assembly Andrew Boff and the President of the Trades Union Congress Sue Fearns.

It comes as President Volodymyr Zelensky this week demanded global protests over the illegal invasion of his country, which has so far cost the lives of thousands of people and displaced more than three million Ukrainians.

Addressing politicians in a stirring speech in English, the Ukrainian premier warned the deadly war was ‘only the beginning’ of Russia’s assault on western democracy. 

‘The war of Russia is not only the war against Ukraine. Its meaning is much wider,’ he warned.

‘Russia started the war against freedom. This is only the beginning for Russia on the Ukrainian land. Russia is trying to defeat the freedom of all people in Europe. Of all the people in the world.’ 

When Russia unleashed its invasion on February 24 in Europe’s biggest offensive since the Second World War, a swift toppling of Ukraine’s democratically elected government seemed likely.

But with Wednesday marking four full weeks of fighting, Russia is now bogged down in a grinding military campaign.

With its ground forces repeatedly slowed or stopped by hit-and-run Ukrainian units armed with Western-supplied weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops are bombarding targets from afar, falling back on the tactics they used in reducing cities to ruins in Syria and Chechnya.

NATO estimated on Wednesday that 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the four weeks of war, where ferocious fighting by the country’s fast-moving defenders has denied Moscow the lightning victory it sought.  

Mr Khan and Ukraine's ambassador, Vadym Prystaiko, are among those providing speeches on Saturday. Messages of support are also expected from the Mayors of Brussels, Amsterdam and Athens

Mr Khan and Ukraine's ambassador, Vadym Prystaiko, are among those providing speeches on Saturday. Messages of support are also expected from the Mayors of Brussels, Amsterdam and Athens

Mr Khan and Ukraine’s ambassador, Vadym Prystaiko, are among those providing speeches on Saturday. Messages of support are also expected from the Mayors of Brussels, Amsterdam and Athens

Women wrapped in Ukrainian flags pose for a selfie during the pro-Ukraine demonstration in London

Women wrapped in Ukrainian flags pose for a selfie during the pro-Ukraine demonstration in London

Women wrapped in Ukrainian flags pose for a selfie during the pro-Ukraine demonstration in London

The London rally joined in global unison with fellow anti-war demonstrations being held across the world, including Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, Lithuania and Greece

The London rally joined in global unison with fellow anti-war demonstrations being held across the world, including Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, Lithuania and Greece

The London rally joined in global unison with fellow anti-war demonstrations being held across the world, including Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, Lithuania and Greece

A young demonstrator holds up a placard reading 'I stand with Ukraine' during the solidarity march in London

A young demonstrator holds up a placard reading 'I stand with Ukraine' during the solidarity march in London

A young demonstrator holds up a placard reading ‘I stand with Ukraine’ during the solidarity march in London

An elderly demonstrator holds the flag of Ukraine aloft as she joins a march of thousands of people through London on Saturday

An elderly demonstrator holds the flag of Ukraine aloft as she joins a march of thousands of people through London on Saturday

An elderly demonstrator holds the flag of Ukraine aloft as she joins a march of thousands of people through London on Saturday

Mr Khan, who organised the march and vigil, is expected to announce over £1million in funding to support Ukrainian migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have come to London. 

In addition, the mayor will provide £50,000 in match-funded donations for the Here for Good Ukraine Advice Project.

In a statement ahead of the march, Sadiq Khan said: ‘I’m proud that today Londoners are uniting in their thousands today to send a message of support to the people of Ukraine. These innocent people have been through unimaginable pain and suffering over the last month, and by joining together today we are showing that we stand with them.

‘I’m also pleased to announce that London will be giving more than £1.1m to support migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum in the capital, including those coming from Ukraine. We have a proud history of providing sanctuary to those fleeing conflict, and this funding will ensure that support is there to help in their time of need.’

Dame Helen Mirren said: ‘It has been devastating to see this horrific ongoing attack against the people of Ukraine, and my thoughts are with them at this terrible time.

‘It’s important that we send a message of support so that Ukrainians know that they are not alone, and I’m proud that the people of London are standing together in their name this Saturday.’

Source: Daily Mail

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