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Protests across Cyprus to mark 2 years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

aftermath of a russian drone attack in kharkiv
Local residents react near a burned house at the site of a Russian drone strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine February 10, 2024.

Demonstrations are to be carried out across Cyprus on Saturday, to protest the two-year anniversary since Russia invaded Ukraine.

“Every day Ukrainian cities are bombarded by missiles of all kinds and kamikaze drones. Civilians and children are being killed every day,” head of the Community of Ukrainian-Cypriot Friendship Association, Ksenia Mukhortova told the Cyprus Mail.

“The civilised world cannot allow this. We can’t turn a blind eye, we can’t live as if innocent people aren’t dying nearby.”

Protests have been organised both by Ukrainian and Russian communities who oppose the war. The latter will be demonstrating outside the Russian embassy in Nicosia and consulate in Limassol at 3pm (details below).

‘The world got used to it’

Mukhortova stressed that police will be present for security reasons and said scores of Ukrainians were expected to take to the streets.

“This is not getting easier for us. There is bombing every second day. The world got used to it and we are very afraid.”

Mukhortova underlined that with the war going on for two years and a decade of Russian aggression in Ukraine, “everybody got used to it.”

Ukrainians however still have to live with this reality, even if the world has normalised seeing the war.

aftermath of a russian drone strike in kyiv region
Firefighters work at a site where production facilities were damaged during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near Bila Tserkva city, in Kyiv

‘Absolute bullshit’

With Cyprus being home to many Ukrainians, Mukhortova explains that on a human level “we get real support from people.”

Many Cypriots feel the shared pain of being refugees after living through an invasion 50 years ago and as such, relate to Ukrainians, she underlines.

The sticking point however materialises when politics looms in the conversation.

“When you start talking about why this war happened” is when you hear that the US is to blame, or that “Ukrainians and Russians are brothers. They have the same religion, same language.”

Mukhortova describes this rhetoric as “absolute bullshit” and a realization that there is a lot to explain about the history behind the war.

“We have been met with kind people. They offer support, food, shelter, jobs.” But that understanding does not extend to the historical understand behind the conflict, she underlines.

Cypriot mining experts

As part of a collaborative Project of the Embassy of Poland in Cyprus, the Embassy of Ukraine in Cyprus and the Community of Ukrainian-Cypriot Friendship a a pre-premiere screening of the film ‘Ukrainian Sappers: War Diaries’, will be showcased of soldiers from the 143rd Joint Training Centre ‘Podillia’ during the war of 2014-2023.

Organisers said the screening is “particularly significant in Cyprus, where Ukrainian sappers received training under the European Union Military Assistance Mission Ukraine, with support from Irish, Cypriot, and American military experts.

“Cypriot deminers shared their extensive experience in demining, as thousands of lethal explosive weapons have remained on their territory since 1974.”

The exhibition ‘Mamo, ja nie chcę wojny!’ (‘Mum, I don’t want war’) and the video installation ‘Posters for Ukraine’ will be presented alongside the screening.

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Protest times and locations

The community of Russians in Cyprus also announced in was carrying out protests across Cyprus under the campaign ‘No to Putin’. Starting at 3pm, there will be a protest outside the Russian embassy in Nicosia, the Russian consulate in Limassol, the Paphos port and in Larnaca at the Zenonas of Kiti monument.

Details for the protests organised by the Ukrainian-Cypriot Friendship:


Nicosia: 14:00. 
Rally at Eleftheria Square

Contact person: Tetiana Ioannou 99918780

Larnaca: 14:00 march along Finikoudes promenade, meeting point – Anchor Hear
Contact person: Lyolya Filimonova, 96512778

Limassol: 14:00 march along Molos, meeting point – Molos Amphitheatre
Contact person: Ksenia Mukhortova 9774 5254

Paphos: 16:00 Rally at the Harbour Kiosk.
Contact person: Iryna Shevchuk 96015199

Oroklini: 17:00 Screening and exhibition
Contact person: Lyolya Filimonova, 96512778

 

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