Huge Ukrainian flag painted on road outside Russian embassy in protest – National

Activists in London dumped gallons of yellow and blue paint in front of the Russian embassy in support of Ukraine on Thursday morning. The protest comes on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Photos and videos of the demonstration showed activists in painter’s coveralls lugging wheelbarrows full of paint sacs on Bayswater Road, near Hyde Park in Kensington.

As they uncorked the sacs and let the paint spill out, other protestors with large brooms spread the pigment across the busy intersection until it resembled the Ukrainian flag. Another organizer in a high-visibility jacket directed cars to drive slowly through the demonstration.

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A large group of spectators gathered to watch the protest as cars continued to pass through, picking up yellow and blue paint on their tires.

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The group responsible for the stunt, Led by Donkeys, wrote in a statement: “Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Putin’s imperialist invasion of Ukraine, an independent state and a people with every right to self-determination. The existence of a massive Ukrainian flag outside his embassy in London will serve to remind him of that.”

Four people, three men and one woman, were arrested in connection with the protest on suspicion of criminal damage and obstructing the highway, the Met Police confirmed to MyLondon. They are currently being detained at a West London police station.

Led by Donkeys is an art activist group that formed to protest Brexit, but its focus has since grown to address other social issues. The name Led by Donkeys comes from the phrase ‘lions led by donkeys,” a saying from the First World War that referred to the belief that British soldiers were being led to their deaths by incompetent leaders.

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The activists said they created the massive flag in front of the Russian embassy with 170 litres of yellow paint spread in the eastbound lane and a similar amount of blue paint in the westbound lane. They noted the paint was “high-standard, non-toxic, solvent-free, eco-friendly, fast-dry edible paint designed for making road art.”

One Londoner who drove through the protest shared a photo on Twitter of his blue-tinted wheels.

“Shame about my wheels,” he wrote. “Still, that protest put a huge smile on my face!”

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, 2022. Just before the invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to get off the war path, cautioning that an invasion would only bring “an abundance of pain filth, blood and death” to their doorsteps.

One year into the war, those words continue to ring true.

The numbers are dizzying: hundreds of thousands of Russian men have escaped abroad to avoid being thrown into battle; millions of Ukrainians have been uprooted from their homes; tens of billions of dollars have poured into weaponry that is making war ever more lethal; and trillions more dollars estimated have been lost for the global economy. And even those figures don’t do justice to the human and economic costs.

Of the body count — surely the most important tally, but kept under wraps by both sides — all that can be said with certainty is that it is horrific. Western officials estimate it to be in the many tens of thousands and growing inexorably.

But Ukraine still exists; that in itself is a stinging defeat for the Kremlin.

— With files from The Associated Press


&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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