Protesters in Australia Condemn Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Hundreds of Australians of Ukrainian descent joined those with Russian heritage to demonstrate against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in downtown Sydney on Friday.

It was an act of solidarity many thousands of kilometers away from the conflict in Ukraine.

Protesters held signs urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the killing.

The Australian government has joined the international condemnation of the Russian attack.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also condemned China for undermining Western sanctions against Russia.

In early February, China’s president, Xi Jinping, and Putin agreed to boost trade ties.

Australia insists the agreement was aimed at undermining the United States’ network of global alliances and any sanctions that it would impose on Russia.

Morrison urged China to act responsibly.

“You don’t go and throw a lifeline to Russia in the middle of a period when they are invading another country,” he said. “That is simply unacceptable from the reports that we have seen, and I would urge all nations to say this is not a time to be easing trade restrictions with Russia. We should all be doing the exact opposite.”

A Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson suggested Thursday the attack should not be called an “invasion” because Russia was only targeting Ukrainian military bases.

Morrison had previously described Russian invaders as “thugs” and “bullies.”

Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton has said that China’s President Xi might be one of the few global leaders who could persuade his Russian counterpart to halt the invasion.

The Australian government will send medical supplies, financial support and military equipment, but not weapons, to Ukraine to help its fight against Russia.

The Russian embassy in the Australian capital, Canberra, has said sanctions imposed by Australia were “xenophobic.”

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