A crowd of people gathered outside the Russian Embassy in Kappara on Friday evening, calling for the immediate halting of the military invasion in Ukraine.

Photo: Chris Sant FournierPhoto: Chris Sant Fournier

Organised by Repubblika, the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, SOS Malta, OASI Foundation, PEN Malta, Prisma Malta and Anti-Poverty Forum Malta, the demonstration was organised in solidarity with Ukrainian people.

People held candles and placards denouncing Putin, chanting "hands off Ukraine" among others.

Ahead of the protest, the organisers said Maltese of goodwill felt no ill will towards Russians, including those who lived in Malta.

In a letter addressed to Ambassador Andrey Lopukhov, which was read out to the crowd of demonstrators on Friday, the organisers saluted Russian people.

"We know that this aggression is the result of the intentions and actions of cruel and ambitious leaders, and not of a whole people that has nothing to do with this violence. Despite what their leaders have done, we feel no hatred whatsoever towards any Russian, including those who like you, have made their home temporarily or permanently among us.

"Violence, aggression and war separate us from each other, bring hardship and misery, hate and misunderstanding, pain and death."

The peace enjoyed since the end of the Cold War declared 33 years ago, has brought prosperity and peace of mind to the whole world, the organisers added.

In the letter, the NGOs said the invasion of Ukraine was in breach of international law.

"The victims of this affront are ordinary people – innocent children, women and men who are blameless but who are paying for the violence of this invasion with their blood and their lives.

"This invasion brings to our continent violence and war at a level that we have not witnessed since World War II. That world conflict was brought to an end, especially thanks to the sacrifice of the Russian people and the Russian military who paid so dearly to bring back peace after the Nazi and Fascist aggression."

This invasion, they warned, carried the biggest threat in decades of the use of nuclear armament and the consequent destruction that this would entail, including the destruction of human life as we know it.

Another peaceful demonstration will be held on Saturday by the Ukrainian community in support with their home country.

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

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