Cypriot police held back Ukrainian protesters trying to disrupt a pro-Russian rally on Saturday, as a procession of tricolor flags marched to the Limassol waterfront to show support as Moscow waged war on kyiv.
According to police, protesters from different neighborhoods in a total of around 100 cars gathered outside the Themistokleio sports arena in Polemidia where a procession of pro-Russian vehicles set off on Saturday in the early afternoon. noon.
Photos taken at the event showed hand-held signs saying ‘no to hate’ and ‘strong together’ among other things while banners on cars adorned with Russian flags read ‘no media lies’ and “God is with us”.
Organizers made speeches outside the stadium saying that Moscow’s goal in Ukraine was to eliminate Nazi elements. They also criticized Western media coverage of the war, arguing that there has been a cover-up of events over the past 8 years.
Protesters also unfurled a gigantic Russian tricolor before the motorcade departed, while other groups and a collection of various country flags were also seen at the rally.
But not everyone was pro-Russia at the rally.
Local media said a group of people holding Ukrainian flags also showed up outside the arena, where they painted their country’s flags on the road surface as well as outlines at the corpse chalk.
Police told Knews that no incidents were reported after the protest, saying law enforcement was notified in advance.
But photos online showed counter-protesters standing too close to the motorcade with no designated areas or barriers visible.
Local media also reported alleged incidents when some counter-protesters tried to remove signs from vehicles, causing tension and prompting police to intervene and hold people back.
Police said the motorcade was uneventful, with the cars leaving the stadium, driving east through the town’s popular waterfront and ending around 3 p.m. at a hotel outside the urban area.
People in the Republic of Cyprus have been divided by the war in Ukraine, with protests taking place as Nicosia takes a pro-Western stance.
The tension also seems to have been brewing in schools in several cities, including Limassol, known as “Moscow on the Mediterranean” where Russian and Ukrainian students mingled in the war.