Ukrainians gather to protest against Russian aggression, demands for ‘security guarantees’

9 January 2022, 05:36 PM

Chanting “Say ‘No’ to Putin!” Ukrainians on Jan. 9 gathered at a demonstration on Mikhaylivska Square in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, days before crucial talks between NATO and Russia on deescalating regional tensions.

The aim of the demonstration was to draw attention to Russian aggression against Ukraine and Kazakhstan, its organizers said.

“Unfortunately, evil takes no holidays,” the event’s Facebook page reads. “Putin wants to drown Kazakhstan in its own blood, and to force Ukraine to capitulate on Jan. 10. That’s why he keeps trying to intimidate us with his 100,000 troops on our border.”

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Several hundred participants urged the leaders of liberal democracies to rebuff Russian President Vladimir Putin and reject his ultimatums – referring to a series of so-called “security guarantee” demands made by Russia to the United States and NATO, including a ban on Ukraine joining the military alliance.

Ukrainians in Chicago and New York were expected to gather for similar demonstrations.

NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg later said that “any kind of talks with Moscow must be underpinned by the key principles of European security, clearly express our concern with Russia’s behavior, and … be done in concord with our European partners, namely Ukraine.”

The White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the United States will not make any concessions or even discuss them without their European allies. The Russian Foreign Ministry is similarly adamant that Moscow is not willing to compromise.

The United States and Russia are scheduled to discuss the Kremlin’s demands in Geneva on Jan. 10.

The NATO-Russia Council is set to meet on Jan. 12.

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