czech protests

Protestors take part in a demonstration against Russia's invasion of Ukraine on March 4, 2022 at the Venceslas square in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images)

Peace Groups to Demand 'Russian Troops Out' of Ukraine at Weekend Rallies

"There simply has to be a negotiated settlement to avert more terrible suffering and lethal escalation."

Anti-war protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin's deadly assault of Ukraine are set to continue this weekend in cities around the world.

"Around the world people oppose this catastrophic war."

With local actions planned for the U.S., the U.K., across Europe, and beyond, the coalition organizing the demonstrations is demanding "Russian troops out" of Ukraine as well as no further expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

While condemning Putin's invasion, experts worldwide have also called out Western leaders for failing to take seriously Moscow's concerns with NATO's eastward expansion. As scholar Noam Chomsky put it this week: "There is good reason to believe that this tragedy could have been avoided."

The coalition organizing the protests includes the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CodePink, No to NATO, and Stop the War Coalition, backed by local, national, and international groups.

"In this day of action, we are uplifting the global outcry against Russia's horrific war and rising up in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the anti-war protestors in Russia to demand an end to the bloodshed and destruction," said CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin.

Chris Nineham of Stop the War Coalition declared that "around the world people oppose this catastrophic war. They know there simply has to be a negotiated settlement to avert more terrible suffering and lethal escalation."

"On Sunday, people will be in the streets to demand the Russian troops get out, to support the Russian anti-war protestors, and to send this message to leaders everywhere: War and military escalation are not the answer, the carnage must be brought to an end," Nineham added.

Some of the more than 100 protests are planned for Saturday. Details about all of the events can be found at PeaceinUkraine.org.

The actions will follow global demonstrations held Thursday by youth climate activists with the Fridays for Future movement as well as earlier protests against the invasion--including throughout Russia, where protesters have been arrested in large numbers for opposing Putin's war.

New York Times Moscow bureau chief Anton Troianovski reported Friday that "the Russian government has blocked access to Facebook inside the country, claiming the network has engaged in 'discrimination against Russian news media.' It's the latest instance of the Kremlin's far-reaching campaign to clamp down on dissent in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine."

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, Russian forces have reportedly taken over Europe's largest nuclear plant after shelling of the facility, which led to a fire that has been extinguished. Critics blasted Russia's targeting of the facility as yet another war crime. The International Criminal Court earlier this week launched an investigation into other allegations of Russian violations of international law.

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