Thousands of people took to the streets of the Bavarian capital with various slogans in connection with the war in Ukraine, protests in Iran, and arms deliveries to Kyiv. A wave of Moscow-induced protests swept through Europe last week.
On Saturday, February 18, Munich hosted several street demonstrations organized by various political forces on various occasions, dedicated to the international security conference taking place in the city.
The most numerous was the action of the association “Munich Rising” (München steht auf). According to the police, about 10,000 participants gathered on Königsplatz Square, calling for “peace” as part of the “Make Peace” campaign.
About 2,700 people demonstrated against the security conference. The rally was held under the slogan “Negotiations instead of shooting – disarmament instead of arming”.
On another city square, police counted about a thousand participants in the “Together Against War” rally.
About 500 people rallied against the suppression of protests in Iran. The demonstration was organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The protesters demanded that the participants of the security conference “accept the Iranian people’s desire for self-determination,” the dpa news agency reports.
To ensure security in the city, 4.5 thousand police officers from Bavaria and other federal states, as well as 300 federal police officers, were on duty over the weekend. Almost all of the rallies went off without incident, except for a meeting of the local branch of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany party, which demonstrated against the supply of weapons to Kyiv.
According to DPA, police were forced to separate about 250 protesters from 300 people who gathered nearby with opposing slogans.
Protests in Vienna
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Vienna on Saturday to demand an end to Austria’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.
Demonstrators with Austrian and Russian flags marched for “peace and neutrality”, calling for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing war in Ukraine and a change of course by the government towards Russia.
Protesters held banners with slogans such as “No guns, peace now” and “Continuation of the Crown dictatorship. Suicide – sanctions and warmongering”.
Last month, Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner said the country would not send weapons to Ukraine to avoid further escalation.
The protest came after Russia expelled four Austrian embassy personnel from Moscow in response to Austria declaring four Russian embassy personnel “persona non grata”, ordering them to leave the country.
Destabilization in Moldova
An anti-government protest has begun in the center of the Moldovan capital Chisinau. Among the organizers of the demonstration is the Shor party of pro-Russian oligarch Ilan Shor.
According to the publication, several thousand people gathered in the center of Chisinau. The organizers of the rally demanded that the Moldovan government pay the utility bills of all citizens of the country for the winter months.
The protest was supposed to take place near the parliament building, but people moved from there to the Opera and Ballet Theater “to avoid provocations.” The police consider this a violation of the terms of the rally.
Before the protest began, police detained six people who were behaving suspiciously. A knife was seized from one of them.
“The protest comes a few days after Moldovan President Maia Sandu and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy publicly exposed Russia’s plan to organize a coup d’état in Moldova, disguised as opposition protests, from Chisinau”
The Shor Party and the Bloc of Communists regarded Maia Sandu’s statements as “a provocation aimed at dragging the Republic of Moldova into a military conflict, hystericalizing society and intimidating the opposition,” the journalists note.
The protesters adopted a resolution demanding that the government pay the bills for the population, which expires in seven days.
“We draw the attention of the whole country and the international community to the critical situation in Moldova. We state that Moldova is currently facing the deepest socio-economic crisis since its independence. Energy tariffs have broken the record and have become an unbearable burden for citizens. At a time when the crisis is deepening and people’s discontent is growing, the government is not looking for solutions to the existing problems but has decided to restrict the rights and freedoms of citizens,” read out the text of the resolution, Marina Tauber, a member of the Shor party.
Oligarch Ilan Shor is under international investigation and is on the sanctions list of the United Kingdom and the United States.