Demonstrations Inside Ukraine, Across Europe Over Russia's Unprovoked War

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Europe, including in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian cities of Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, and Melitopol, to protest against Moscow's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Waving Ukrainian flags and chanting "Fascists go home!" and "Kherson is Ukrainian," thousands of demonstrators paraded by Russian troops on March 13, the 18th day of war since Moscow launched its military offensive.

In Melitopol, people also took to the streets, prompting Russian forces to ban demonstrations and impose a curfew.

"Today is the largest rally in Kherson! In the eyes of the occupiers there is despair, they hide behind balaclavas and look away. Yes, they have weapons, but we are morally stronger," a post on a Twitter account set up for videos from the city to be posted reads.

Dissent wasn't limited to inside Ukraine.

With jailed opposition politician and Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny urging his countrymen to take to the streets, thousands across Russia shouted anti-war slogans despite a heavy police presence and threats of arrests from security officials.

"Take to the streets: we must stop the war," Navalny said in a tweet on March 13, two days after he wrote a long post on Instagram telling Russians "Mad maniac Putin will most quickly be stopped by the people of Russia now if they oppose the war."

According to OVD-Info, an NGO that monitors arrests during protests, 796 people were arrested as anti-war protests erupted in at least three dozen cities in Russia.

Almost 15,000 people have now been arrested in Russia for protesting against President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.

In the German capital of Berlin, thousands gathered at Alexanderplatz and marched to the Brandenberg Gate chanting anti-war slogans and clutching yellow and blue balloons.

Protests were also planned in other German cities, including Hamburg, Frankfurt and Leipzig.

With reporting by dpa