#StandWithUkraine trends across the globe as world leaders cut off Russia

Millions take to the streets globally to protest Putin's war on Ukraine as Western leaders decide to cut Russia off from the global economy


                            #StandWithUkraine trends across the globe as world leaders cut off Russia
Nelson's Column in London lights up in the Ukrainian flag (Mayor of London/Twitter) as protestors take to the streets in Tbilisi, Georgia. (Twitter)
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Nearly 48 hours since the invasion of Ukraine began, the West has responded by issuing a series of crippling sanctions meant to cut Russia off from the global economy. Key economies such as the EU, US, UK, Australia, and Japan have all decided to limit their trading with Russia, as citizens across the world take to the streets in protest. 

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As we reported on February 24, hundreds of Russians took to the streets in over 50 cities, risking arrest to protests against Vladimir Putin's invasion. The widespread coverage has now inspired millions around the globe to do the same. Even notable Russian celebrities have joined the anti-war crusade, taking to social media to slam the invasion. However, it has done little to help, with Russian forces now closing in on Ukraine's capital Kyiv, despite the strong resistance of the Ukrainian army. 

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So far, Western leaders have strongly refused to send troops in to defend Ukraine, but aren't sitting silently either. As protesters are swarming the streets globally, leaders have been forced to act, and in some cases have put their money where their mouth is. Unfortunately, however, it is not a unified response, with some nations like China and India not yet jumping in to limit Russia's economy.

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A group of people holds signs at the front of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on February 21, 2022, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

 

World attempts to cut off Russia

US sanctions have mostly focused on Russia's finances, with President Joe Biden cutting off Russia from accessing western markets and banks. The EU has gone a step further, by cutting off some of its energy and technology. Critically, Germany has canceled the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, but not everyone was willing to go all the way. Reportedly, Italy has lobbied for its luxury goods to be exempted from the EU's sanctions, leading one source to tell The Daily Telegraph, "Apparently selling Gucci loafers to oligarchs is more of a priority than hitting back at Putin."

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Canada has canceled export permits for aerospace and mining goods, while also sanctioning 58 individuals close to Putin. In the UK, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has frozen all Russian financial assets, sanctioned firms, and individuals, and also banned Russian airlines Aeroflot from the country. Australia and New Zealand have cut off military exports to Russia, while New Zealand has also cut off trade and travel entirely. Likewise, Japan has suspended visas for Russian nationals.

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However, the effects of the sanctions are expected to be limited at best, given that Russia is still maintaining close ties to China and India, among other economies. While India did condemn the violence, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has so far refused to directly call Putin out, given that Russia is a key trading ally for India. Similarly, China too has refused to condemn Putin, and instead eased restrictions on trade with Russia. 

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U.S. President Joe Biden announces sanctions against Russia, from the East Room of the White House on February 22, 2022, in Washington, DC. ( Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

 

Protesters take the streets globally

While world leaders grapple with the challenges of isolating Russia, people all over have made their feelings clear. Ever since February 23, when Russia launched its offensive, protesters have been taking to the streets. The anti-war protests have only intensified since, under the #IStandWithUkraine hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. Over 100 people joined the protests in San Fransisco, and a video showed a larger protest in Warsaw, Poland. In the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, thousands took to the streets to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. 

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In Dublin, Ireland, protesters appeared to have smeared the gates with red paint, as seen in the below tweet. Another shows video of Irish protesters harassing a car believed to be carrying Russia's ambassador to Ireland. 

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Across the world, thousands of monuments were also lit up with the Ukrainian flag in solidarity with the nation. Some of the many iconic structures included the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Nelson's Column in London, the Allianz Arena in Munich, and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. 


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