The Voice of Ukraine initiative organized a protest march from the Old Town Square around shops and signs that did not withdraw from Russia. The goal of the march was Wenceslas Square, where a program for the anniversary of the Russian invasion took place, February 24, 2023, Prague.
Prague – People in the Czech Republic today commemorated the year of the war in Ukraine with a procession, a prayer and a minute of silence. A march in support of Ukraine, in which at least hundreds of people participated, passed through the center of Prague, dozens of people honored the victims of the fighting with a minute of silence on Masaryk Square in the center of Hradec Králové. In the early evening, a prayer for Ukraine was heard in Pilsen and also in front of the Liberec town hall lit up in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The town hall tower in Ostrava was also illuminated in the same way. In the evening, people in Brno also expressed their support for Ukraine at Dominikánská náměstí. The Russian military launched an air and ground attack on Ukraine in the early hours of February 24, 2022.
In addition to the year-long war, the parade in Prague from the Old Town to Wenceslas Square drew attention to companies that continue to do business in Russia. People in the parade carried banners with the logos of some companies, complete with red spots that symbolized blood. Participants also held Ukrainian flags or banners condemning Russia and the invasion. People carried a large Ukrainian flag unfurled among themselves and in the middle of the procession.
The march is part of the Light will win over darkness initiative, which is coordinated by Ukrainian volunteers. Similar events were planned today, for example, in Belgium, Finland and Germany, and others are to follow on Saturday.
Nearly 2,000 people gathered tonight in Dominican Square in Brno to support Ukraine on the first anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion and aggression. The meeting began with the repeated sound of sirens, which sound almost daily in a number of Ukrainian cities as an air raid warning. The Czech speakers mentioned above all the heroism of the Ukrainians, who put their lives on the line for the freedom not only of themselves but also of other European residents. Ukrainian speakers thanked for the ongoing support and help.
“We thank everyone who participated in helping (Ukrainians) in any way,” said Anna Maclová, director of the local diocesan charity, at the beginning of the gathering in the center of Hradec Králové. According to the police, approximately 200 people took part in the peaceful event, during which the Czech and Ukrainian national anthems were also played. The charity is one of the institutions in the Hradec Králové Region that significantly help war refugees from Ukraine.
Dozens of people gathered to pray in front of the Liberec town hall. Archdeacon Radek Jurnečka served it as a reminder of the year since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Father Ivan Semotjuk from the Liberec Greek Catholic parish, where refugees gather before the war, also joined. People associated with the Czech-Ukrainian community Krajanka z Jablonec nad Nisou arrived at the main square in Liberec with a giant Ukrainian flag, which they had sewn together last spring from pieces of blue and yellow fabric. Mass for the victims of the war in Ukraine took place today, for example, in the Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary in Hejnice in Liberecko.
In Plzeň, the prayer for Ukraine was led by Bishop Tomáš Holub in St. Bartholomew's Cathedral. The program of the evening included organ music, readings from the Bible and prayers in Czech and Ukrainian. As a sign of belonging, visitors could light a candle and place it in front of the altar.
Similar to the town hall in Liberec, Ostrava lit up the city's landmarks, i.e. the town hall tower and the Sýkor Bridge, in Ukrainian colors for two nights. Today, the Ukrainian flag flies at the town hall as well as at the regional office. “We are symbolically showing our constant support,” said the mayor of Ostrava Tomáš Macura (formerly ANO).
In the Karlovy Vary region, they commemorate the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine with a concert, exhibition or screening. The House of Culture in Ostrov is preparing a peace concert tonight. People will be able to pay a voluntary entrance fee or buy a T-shirt at the event. The author of the graphic design, which expresses an unbreakable desire for freedom, is an artist from Ukraine. The proceeds will go to the People in Need project dedicated to food for people in the middle of war.
The Karlovy Vary Association for Democracy did not plan a parade of lights through the city center for today in Karlovy Vary. In Cheb, you can see an exhibition of leading Ukrainian photographers entitled The year after, depicting life in the war. The One World festival has prepared a screening of a film about children in Ukraine, a tasting of Ukrainian food and a discussion for next week in Karlovy Vary. The current situation of children in Ukraine and child refugees outside it will be discussed.
This afternoon in Přerov, around five dozen people gathered at TGM Square to honor the victims of the war in Ukraine. Some of them painted Ukrainian symbols with yellow-blue chalks on the area of the square. Several Ukrainians with flags also took part in the meeting.
Today, on the anniversary of the Russian invasion, the students of the Archbishop's High School in Kroměříž played the Ukrainian anthem during the long break, for which they assembled an orchestra. At the same time, they sold pies and other food, the proceeds will go to support the attacked country. The students organized everything themselves, Olomouc Archbishop Jiří Gračka told ČTK.
A parade for Ukraine passed through the center of Prague, drawing attention to companies doing business in Russia
A parade in support of Ukraine passed through the center of Prague today, in which at least hundreds of people participated. They wanted to remind that a year ago Russia launched an invasion of a neighboring country, and also to draw attention to companies that continue to do business in Russia. People gathered at the Old Town Square around 3:00 p.m. After about half an hour, they went along Celetná Street to Republic Square, from where they headed to Wenceslas Square. The organizers are planning another program there.
At the head of the procession were people with banners bearing the logos of companies that continue to do business in Russia. The banners had red spots on them to symbolize blood. The people who carried them had their hands dyed red. Participants also carried Ukrainian flags or banners condemning Russia and the invasion. People carried a large Ukrainian flag unfurled among themselves and in the middle of the procession.
The organizers of the assembly and other speakers spoke on Wenceslas Square. They appreciated, for example, that the Czech Republic no longer receives Russian gas, but should also stop receiving oil from Russia, according to them. Vitaly Usaty from the Ukrainian Embassy praised the help that the Czech Republic provided to refugees and Ukraine. He declared that Russia must be punished for its crimes. People remembered the victims of the war, held a minute of silence for them.
Police representatives on the spot did not want to estimate the number of participants in the march, neither did the spokeswoman for the Prague police, Violeta Siřišťová. At least hundreds of people took part in the march, they filled the space around the statue of St. Wenceslas on Wenceslas Square, approximately along Krakovská Street. Cars could drive on the road, but the police restricted the entry of vehicles from the highway.
The event is part of the Light will win over darkness initiative, which is coordinated by Ukrainian volunteers. Similar events should take place today, for example, in Belgium, Finland or Germany, many of them are also planned for Saturday.
The police have prepared security measures for today's and weekend rallies in Prague, in which law enforcement officers will participate , traffic and criminal services as well as the anti-conflict team, announced on Twitter. “It does not follow from the findings that the gatherings should be disturbed in any way, and we believe in their peaceful course,” she stated.
Nearly 2,000 people gathered tonight in Dominican Square in Brno to support Ukraine on the first anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion and aggression. The meeting began with the repeated sound of sirens, which sound almost daily in a number of Ukrainian cities as an air raid warning. The Czech speakers mentioned above all the heroism of the Ukrainians, who put their lives on the line for the freedom not only of themselves but also of other European residents. Ukrainian speakers thanked for continued support and assistance.
Today marks one year since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Russian army launched an air and ground attack in the morning hours of February 24, 2022. The aggression caused a huge wave of solidarity in the Czech Republic and abroad. Western leaders have condemned Moscow's actions, and countries are applying sanctions against Russia.
On Malostranské náměstí, the painting of Amelia reminds the courage of Ukrainians
The courage of the Ukrainians, who have been resisting the invasion of Russian troops for a year, will be commemorated by a painting depicting the Ukrainian girl Amelia standing with a suitcase in the ruins of the city on Malostranské náměstí in Prague for several weeks from today. The work was created and dedicated to the Chamber of Deputies by leading Czech street artist Chemis. The large-format painting was unveiled today by the representatives of the House of Representatives in the presence of the Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová and the representative of the Ukrainian Ambassador Vitaly Usatyje on the balcony of the Smiřicky Palace of the House of Representatives with a view of Malostranské náměstí.
“Ukrainians are brave, you can see it every day. And they often stand on the ruins and speak for Ukraine to be free,” said the artist. The painting shows Amelia, who was made famous a year ago by footage of her singing and touching adults in a shelter. According to the artist, the work has the same theme as the girl's singing, namely to show that Ukraine is still alive.
The small ceremony at the House of Representatives was one of a number of events that will be held today throughout the Czech Republic as a reminder that exactly one year ago, Russian troops invaded Ukraine and started the still-unending military conflict. Some buildings in Prague, including the embassies of several countries, were already lit up in the colors of the Ukrainian flag at night. At the unveiling of the work, Pekarová Adamová recalled the horrors that are happening in Ukraine, as well as the solidarity on the other side. At the same time, she promised that the Czech Republic would continue to help the hard-pressed country.
Chemis is one of the most important Czech street artists today. Last March, he created a mural with the motif of a little girl hiding under the Ukrainian flag in Nusle, Prague. In connection with the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia, he created the legendary painting of a crying Masaryk on the wall of the boiler room at the Faculty of Science in Olomouc.
Activists in front of the Russian embassy symbolically ended the life of the aggressor
With a symbolic happening in front of the Russian embassy in Prague today, the activist group Kaputin expressed hope for an early end to the war in Ukraine. The actors of the short skit wordlessly cut off the limbs of a large bird of prey with the Z symbol on its chest, which marks the Russian troops in Ukraine, with an ax in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and left it to bleed out in front of the onlookers. The scene was watched by a figure symbolizing justice, with scales in hand and with a white blindfold, blood from the stuffed animal splashed on her as well.
In addition to the Kaputin association, representatives of other initiatives and associations protesting against the war in Ukraine gathered today in front of the Russian embassy. On the way to the entrance to the embassy, there were photographs of places that have filled the media in recent months due to war strikes. Those present today also expressed their support for Russians who live in the Czech Republic and do not agree with the war and the Putin regime.
“On this day, we commemorate the anniversary of Russia's brutal invasion of the territory of the sovereign state of Ukraine. It was eight years after the Russian regime in Ukraine was occupying and killing. All this time, the reaction of the Western world was insufficient and gave the dictator the opportunity to prepare an even more monstrous scenario that came true in February 2022,” Kaputin group members said in a statement today.
“Civilized world they must defeat Russian aggression, Russian anti-civilization. Our happening symbolizes that justice may be slow and blind, but thanks to Ukraine, it has received a clear and sharp symbolic ax in its hand. It can cut down Russian expansion, Russian horrors. However, it will not work without Western countries. We must to persevere, we must win together,” said the activists, who have been protesting the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin for a long time through their public appearances.