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Protest in Berlin Over Arming Ukraine Against Russia

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A protest in Berlin over supplying Ukraine with weapons for war with Russia attracted thousands on Saturday. The demonstration was organised by an anti-war coalition and brought together a broad range of political parties, including the left-wing Greens.

The demonstration gathered around the symbolic Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, which is a symbol of German unity. Police mobilized 1,400 officers to keep the peace and enforce bans on military uniforms, Russian and Soviet flags and right-wing symbols.

Protesters wore t-shirts with slogans such as “Helmets today, tanks tomorrow.” A banner read: “Negotiate, not escalate.” They also carried flags of NATO countries and the European Union.

Germany’s approach to security and military policy has been under scrutiny since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year. Top German government officials have been criticized for adopting a relatively soft line towards Moscow, compared with their Western allies.

But a new poll has found that most Germans disagree with their government’s decision to send 18 modern Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The poll, published by the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research, showed that around 40% of those surveyed disapproved of the delivery, while only 22% approved of it.

A trained carpenter from Paderborn, a city in western Germany, is also worried that the government’s decision to support Ukraine could result in more problems than it solves. He fears the Leopards could trigger an escalation of the conflict in Europe. He says it is important for Germany to support Kyiv in its fight against Russia, but his fears are based on the fact that he believes the move could lead to Germany being drawn into a conflict and a possible declaration of war by the West.

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