8.000 People Were Demonstrating in Vienna on War Anniversary

CompaniesOther ♦ Published: February 26, 2023; 21:02 ♦ (Vindobona)

As the first anniversary of the Russo-Ukraine War has marked, the Ukrainian diaspora in Austria has held large demonstrations in Vienna. They started their march from the Parliament and ended up in Karlsplatz.

8.000 People from the Ukrainian Diaspora Participated in a Large Demonstration in Vienna on the Anniversary of the Russian Aggression in Ukraine. / Picture: © Thomas Topf / © Parlamentsdirektion

The Ukrainian diaspora in Austria remembered the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine with a large-scale demonstration in downtown Vienna on Friday night. After a start in front of the parliament, the Ukrainians moved to Karlsplatz. With about 8,000 participants, according to authorities, it was one of the largest rallies of the Ukrainian diaspora in Austria since February 24, 2022, as stated by Der Standard.

While Austrian Parties such as NEOS and the Greens showed support for the Ukrainians with speeches and a “Slava Ukrajina” slogans, Ukrainian activists however, criticized the FPOE, the fifth party, for its pro-Russian stance and for hosting the Academic Ball (Akademikerball) just on the anniversary of the Russian invasion. "This is a ball of bones! A disgrace!" activist Andrij Karioti said, referring to the date.

He also called on all Ukrainians to take at least one Austrian by the hand to sign that referendum equating Russia with a terrorist state. Patriotic songs were sung by a Ukrainian bard and the Ukrainian schoolgirl Maryna, who had won the Austrian protest song contest a few days ago, according to Vienna.at

According to Der Standard, in a "march of light", the demonstrators, the majority of whom were refugees from last year, marched past the Museumsquartier to Karlsplatz. On the way, militant slogans were chanted; posters not only called Russia a terrorist state but also demanded the torching of the Kremlin. Finally, in front of the Karlskirche, thousands simulated the heartbeat of the Ukrainian diaspora in a peaceful flash mob by waving smartphones. The event concluded with a Ukrainian "Our Father" and the obligatory singing of the Ukrainian national anthem.