Ukrainian citizens living in Cyprus took to the streets on Friday to demonstrate against Russia’s invasion of their country.
More than 100 Ukrainians residing in Cyprus, gathered at the old Limassol port, marching along the coastal road towards the town centre holding banners protesting the intervention on their country’s soil.
In statements to media, demonstrators called on Cyprus and the world to help the Ukrainian people, reminding Cypriots that they too know what it means to wake up to bombings, referring to Turkey’s invasion of the island back in 1974.
They expressed their concern over the wellbeing of their families and friends back in Ukraine, with many reported to have taken refuge in basements and metro stations to protect themselves from Russian air raids.
They also asked for Cyprus’ support to exclude Russia from the SWIFT global interbank payment system, noting that the issue is no longer about loans and payments, but the freedom of a country which has fallen victim to “Russian expansionist policy”.
Friday’s demonstration in Limassol followed a similar protest held by Ukrainian citizens outside the Russian embassy in Nicosia.
Meanwhile, the Cyprus parliament on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops.
The parliament’s plenary session said it supports the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.
It added that Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regimes in Donetsk and Luhansk regions as sovereign and independent constitutes a violation of the principle of territorial integrity of the states.