NEW YORK - Protestors unfurled the Ukrainian flag in Times Square on Thursday as part of a ‘Stop Putin Rally’ organized by locals with close ties to Ukraine.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin has been met with global condemnation, and Thursday's demonstration was just one of many protests taking place in the U.S. and across the world to protest what is viewed as an act of war.
Ralliers also carried a number of signs against President Vladimir Putin.
"Putin, hands off Ukraine" read one and "Stop Putin" was on another as marchers chanted, "Stop the war."
Demonstrators marched from Times Square across Manhattan to the Upper East Side where they and others gathered at East 67t and Lexington Avenue near the permanent mission of the Russian Federation, the headquarters of Russia's ambassador to the United Nations.
Another rally took place at the United Nations, while a third occurred at 91st Street and Madison Avenue, near the Russian Consulate.
Thousands of Russians turned out Thursday to decry their country's invasion of Ukraine as emotional calls for protests grew on social media. Some 1,702 people in 53 Russian cities were detained, at least 940 of them in Moscow.
Hundreds of posts came pouring in condemning Moscow’s most aggressive actions since the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Vladimir Putin called the attack a "special military operation" to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine from "genocide" — a false claim the U.S. had predicted would be a pretext for invasion, and which many Russians roundly rejected.
Tatyana Usmanova, an opposition activist in Moscow, wrote on Facebook that she thought she was dreaming when she awoke at 5:30 a.m. to the news, which she called "a disgrace that will be forever with us now."
"I want to ask Ukrainians for forgiveness. We didn’t vote for those who unleashed the war," she said.