Durham students protest Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

By Elizabeth McBride and Tiffany Chan

On Friday 25th February a group of Russian-speaking students at Durham University organised a protest against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – mirroring those held all over the world.

The meeting outside the Bill Bryson Library provided a platform for many of those impacted by the invasion of Ukraine to voice their concerns and feelings toward the situation and those of all nationalities to show their support and solidarity. 

Ukrainians, Russians and Belarussians stepped up to share how their lives had been transformed by the invasion. Some described receiving calls and messages from their family and friends in the early hours of the morning, to say that the war had begun and they were either participating in the resistance or joining those fleeing across the border.

The sharing session was not hugely planned, with the protest leaders speaking and then inviting others to come up and share their experiences.

Attendees were asked not to take or share pictures of speakers from the Russian Federation or Belarus due to safety concerns.

Before the solidarity meeting began at 16:30 there was a banner-making session and many students brought their own placards, declaring their opposition to the war.

While there were only a few people at the start, numbers grew to just under 100. The demonstrators started to disperse after an hour and a half.

The protest was held in solidarity with those affected by the war and those demonstrating around the world – especially in Russia where hundreds have been arrested. Information about possible further protests and ways in which Durham students can help this cause is accessible here.

Image: Daniel Hodgson

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