Ukrainian and Afghan protesters take to the streets of Brussels

Around 50 Ukrainian protesters gathered in front of the building of Russia's Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels on Saturday afternoon. The demonstrators, along with organiser Promote Ukraine, condemned the unrecognised referendums held by Russia in some Ukrainian regions, calling them illegal.

In late September, Russia held referendums in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya on joining the Russian federation. The results, according to Russians, were overwhelmingly in their favour each time. Internationally, the referendums are not recognised.

Ukrainian protesters also conveyed that message in Brussels on Saturday. A lot of people present were dressed in a Ukrainian flag and carried protest signs with inscriptions like "Russia is a terrorist state", "All Russians are guilty" and "Fake referendums do not change the facts".

Specifically, they ask that the international community strongly condemn the referenda and continue to recognise the regions as Ukrainian territory. In addition, they want no concession to Russian blackmail and further scaled-up support to Ukraine in terms of financial, military and humanitarian aid. 

Earlier on Saturday, dozens of Afghans filled the Schuman Square to demonstrate against terror attacks in their country of origin. The demonstrators fear that the Taliban are targeting the Hazara minority in their country.

On 30 September, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Kaj Education Centre. 53 people were killed, mostly female students, and even more were injured. The attack took place in Dashte Barchit, a district inhabited by the Shiite Hazaras, an ethnic minority in Afghanistan.

In recent days, protests, led by women, already broke out in Afghanistan itself. Now they are continuing worldwide in solidarity with the Afghan people. In Brussels, many young women and families with children gathered to condemn the terror attacks. The protesters called for the recognition of violence against the Hazara minority. "Stop the genocide against Hazara," they chanted.


A previous protest in front of the Russian Embassy in Brussels. - © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels