Thousands of protestors march though London in show of solidarity with Ukraine


The huge sea of protesters were draped in blue and yellow (Pictures: Reuters)

Thousands have marched through central London to show support for the people of Ukraine.

The huge sea of protesters, draped in blue and yellow, started near Hyde Park, before snaking through the streets heading towards Trafalgar Square.

They chanted ‘stand with Ukraine’ and ‘stop the war’, with roads being closed off and traffic stopped.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, a former world heavyweight boxing champion, speaking from a military bunker, told the crowd on a big screen near Nelson’s Column: ‘We defend right now the same principles. Please keep together with our country, keep together with Ukraine.’

The crowd, many from Ukraine, also marched beneath Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace message on an electronic billboard in Piccadilly.

Cheers rang out at Trafalgar Square as a message from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky was beamed on a huge screen in front of Nelson’s Column.

Speaking ahead of the demonstration, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was there to condemn Russia’s ‘barbaric aggression’.

The London Mayor said: ‘Londoners over the last few weeks have shown that we’re opening our arms to Ukrainian refugees, whether it’s by donating money to those charities doing a brilliant job in Ukraine or by opening our homes to those fleeing Ukraine.’


Demonstrators hold placards and wave Ukrainian national flags during a 'London stands with Ukraine' protest march and vigil, in central London, on March 26, 2022 to send a unified message of support to the Ukrainian people. - The month of war has displaced 4.3 million children - more than half of Ukraine's estimated child population of 7.5 million, according to the UN children's agency Unicef. More than 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes, as cities have faced sustained Russian bombardment from land, sea and air. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Thousands took to the streets of the capital (Picture: AFP via Getty)


A protester holds a placard during a 'London stands with Ukraine' protest march and vigil, in central London, on March 26, 2022 to send a unified message of support to the Ukrainian people. - The month of war has displaced 4.3 million children - more than half of Ukraine's estimated child population of 7.5 million, according to the UN children's agency Unicef. More than 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes, as cities have faced sustained Russian bombardment from land, sea and air. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

They held placards bearing slogans including ‘I stand with Ukraine’ (Picture: AFP via Getty)


Demonstrators wave Ukrainian national flags during a 'London stands with Ukraine' protest march and vigil, in central London, on March 26, 2022 to send a unified message of support to the Ukrainian people. - The month of war has displaced 4.3 million children - more than half of Ukraine's estimated child population of 7.5 million, according to the UN children's agency Unicef. More than 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes, as cities have faced sustained Russian bombardment from land, sea and air. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Demonstrators waved Ukrainian national flags (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Asked on Sky News if he will be taking in a Ukrainian family, Mr Khan said: ‘We personally won’t be for a variety of reasons not least protections, security reasons and lack of space.’

He continued: ‘It is important throughout the next few days, weeks to make it far, far easier, and much more easier for those who are fleeing Ukraine to come here.

‘You compare our Government’s actions versus the actions of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, it’s embarrassing.

‘We’ve got be doing much more.’



Russia-Ukraine war: Everything you need to know

Crowds held banners reading ‘stop (Vladimir) Putin’s war’, ‘no fly zone’ and ‘solidarity with Ukraine’ and sang as police officers followed.

The London leader also urged those in the capital to continue their ‘generosity’ towards refugees.

He added: ‘I’m full of admiration for anybody who has the space to provide a room for those who have fled Ukraine.

‘It’s really important families are not left to their own devices, the Government has to step up and support them.’


A young protester holds up a placard during a 'London stands with Ukraine' protest march and vigil, in central London, on March 26, 2022 to send a unified message of support to the Ukrainian people. - The month of war has displaced 4.3 million children - more than half of Ukraine's estimated child population of 7.5 million, according to the UN children's agency Unicef. More than 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes, as cities have faced sustained Russian bombardment from land, sea and air. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

A young protester holds up a placard during the ‘London stands with Ukraine’ protest march and vigil (Picture: AFP via Getty)


A demonstrator waves a Ukrainian national flags during a 'London stands with Ukraine' protest march and vigil, in central London, on March 26, 2022 to send a unified message of support to the Ukrainian people. - The month of war has displaced 4.3 million children - more than half of Ukraine's estimated child population of 7.5 million, according to the UN children's agency Unicef. More than 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes, as cities have faced sustained Russian bombardment from land, sea and air. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The march was intended to send a unified message of support to the Ukrainian people (Pictue: AFP via Getty)


Demonstrators hold placards and Ukrainian national flags during a 'London stands with Ukraine' protest march and vigil, in central London, on March 26, 2022 to send a unified message of support to the Ukrainian people. - The month of war has displaced 4.3 million children - more than half of Ukraine's estimated child population of 7.5 million, according to the UN children's agency Unicef. More than 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes, as cities have faced sustained Russian bombardment from land, sea and air. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Crowds chanted ‘stand with Ukraine’ and ‘stop the war’, with roads being closed off and traffic stopped (Picture: AFP via Getty)

It comes as Mr Khan announced more than £1.1m in funding to support migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum in the capital.

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, who was also in attendance, led a chant of ‘stand with Ukraine’.

He said: ‘We come here to send a message to the beautiful people of Ukraine that we are with you in this fight.’

Mr Lammy also called for an ‘end’ to the ‘dirty Russian money’ that has ‘polluted’ the UK economy.

Ukrainian politicians and European leaders will also speak to the crowd.

Protester Zenadin Tkalenko, 43, of Croydon, south-east London, originally from Kyiv, said: ‘My country is under attack, the UK I hope can help.

‘Putin is a monster who needs to be stopped, people are dying and homes are being destroyed.

‘This is a big country and it needs to help.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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