Wednesday, February 21

Germany mobilizes in the face of an ever closer war


The mobilization in Berlin did not reach the dimensions of the one that took place on February 27, three days after the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine. / EFE

In the center of Berlin, a march for peace, backed by the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB), converged with another called by young Ukrainians, residents in the country or refugee women and children

JOANA SERRA Correspondent. berlin

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Berlin in a new mobilization against a war that is perceived to be ever closer, both geographically and humanly or because of the devastating economic effects it brings. In the center of the German capital, a march for peace, backed by the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB), converged with another called by young Ukrainians, residents in the country or women and children who arrived as refugees.

Apparently, they were “sister” marches, with the colors of the Ukrainian flag as an omnipresent element, in multiple formats or present in the clothing of those gathered, between songs of the “Slava Ukrayini”. But the contents of the proclamations and posters revealed differences: the first was dominated by slogans such as “No to war” or “Stop Putin”, in favor of breaking with Russian gas and oil – on which 50% of consumption depends. German– or against the exorbitant price of gasoline; the second demanded the implementation of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as well as its rapid entry into the European Union (EU), two claims that today Brussels and the 27 as a whole reject as unfeasible.

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The mobilization in Berlin did not reach the dimensions of the one that took place on February 27, three days after the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine and coinciding with the 180-degree turn of the government of Olaf Scholz, who that same day announced a multimillion-dollar package of defense investments. Then it was about 200,000 people who took to the streets in Berlin in solidarity with Ukraine. This time, however, the mobilization in the capital was joined by others with between 10,000 and 30,000 people in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Stuttgart, among other cities.

Russia attack, live |  Last minute of the war in Ukraine

There are already some 140,000 refugees who have arrived in Germany since the beginning of the invasion. The figure is only indicative, according to sources from the Ministry of the Interior. There is no obligation to register for those who do not need accommodation arranged, either because they are welcomed by relatives, acquaintances or private citizens who simply come to the station carrying signs to offer them their home.

In the central station of Berlin, all kinds of information is available, including medical consultations where they will be treated free of charge. There are dozens of volunteers who distribute food, clothing, toys or phone cards, aided by interpreters in different languages. There are also security and police agents, since the presence of “captors” began to be detected who offer housing and work to younger women, who supposedly end up in networks of sexual exploitation.

The old Tegel airport has started to function as a first reception center for those who have nowhere to stay; In the coming days, it is expected that the other two out-of-service aerodromes, Schönefeld and Tempelhof, will also be enabled for this purpose, the latter already used as temporary accommodation during the 2015 migration crisis.

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The war is perceived ever closer in Berlin, 1,300 kilometers from Kiev. The Russian missile attack on the Yavoriv military base, 25 kilometers from the Polish border, has set off all alarms. The war is at the gates of NATO. The Lviv station, in the same region as the attacked base, was one of the nerve centers for the transit of refugees to Poland. Until yesterday, whoever got there could feel more or less safe.


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