A small group of Maltese and foreign young people held a spontaneous protest outside the Russian embassy on Thursday against Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

They held candles and placards outside the embassy's gate in Kappara, slamming Putin for ordering the bloody assault.

Video: Jonathan Borg.

During the day, protests were held in several countries including Russia itself, where hundreds defied Moscow's orders and took to the streets in several cities.

OVD-Info, which tracks arrests at opposition rallies, said 1,400 were arrested, including 700 in Moscow and 340 in St Petersburg.

In Berlin, several hundred people rallied at the Brandenburg Gate, lit up in the blue and yellow colours of the Ukraine flag.

Thousands rallied on Prague's Wenceslas Square then marched toward the Russian embassy, with demonstrators carrying a large poster featuring Hitler and Putin and the tagline 1938-2022, referring to the year of Nazi Germany's occupation of Czechoslovakia.

Protesters shouted "Pack up your bags!" and "Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes!"

In Paris, several hundred people gathered outside the Russian embassy.

Protesters chanted "Stop Putin, stop the war" and carried placards with slogans declaring "No war" and "Putin Ukraine 2022, Hitler Poland 1939".

Around 150 demonstrated in Stockholm outside the Russian embassy, waving Ukrainian flags and holding signs reading "Ukraine, solidarity!", "Stop Russian aggression" and "Stop the bloody maniac". 

In the Netherlands, about 100 pro-Ukrainian protesters gathered in front of the Russian embassy in The Hague and a similar number demonstrated on Amsterdam's Dam Square.

In Dublin, a small group of protesters gathered outside the Russian embassy where red paint was splattered on the mission's emblem by a gated entrance.

Later in the day, dozens of protesters gathered outside the national parliament building in the centre of the Irish capital carrying Ukrainian flags and placards emblazoned with "stand with Ukraine" and "Putin get out of Ukraine".

There were also demonstrations in other cities including Athens, Barcelona, Bern, Istanbul, London, Lisbon, Madrid, Sofia, Tokyo and Warsaw.

In Georgia, thousands rallied in the capital Tbilisi's main thoroughfare, waving Ukrainian and Georgian flags and holding banners that read "Putin get out of Ukraine".

The war has invited a sense of deja vu in Georgia, which faced a devastating Russian invasion in 2008. 



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