Berlin: 13,000 march against weapons for Ukraine

While demonstrations for solidarity with Ukraine were taking place in cities across Europe over the weekend, around 13,000 people gathered at a rally in Berlin to demand immediate negotiations and an end to the arms deliveries to Kyiv. Women's rights activist Alice Schwarzer and left-wing politician Sahra Wagenknecht called for an "Uprising for Peace".

Open/close all quotes
Irish Independent (IE) /

Compromise better than mutually assured destruction

Writing in the Irish Independent, columnist Eilis O'Hanlon shows understanding for the demonstrators' arguments:

“Former UK prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss have both called for Britain to send RAF fighter jets directly to Ukraine's aid. It's hard to see how this could be interpreted as anything other than a declaration of war on Russia. ... Is it really so appalling to conclude it might be better to have a negotiated settlement which rewards Russian aggression to some extent rather than risk mutually assured destruction, especially when the West's war aims are so difficult to fathom?”

Der Standard (AT) /

Aggression must not pay off

Russia would not be satisfied even if weapons deliveries to Ukraine were stopped, writes Der Standard:

“If Ukraine is forced to negotiate because the West stops supplying weapons it will at the very least have to give in to Russia's territorial demands regarding Crimea and four provinces. If the war ends that way, what would follow? It could be that Russia contents itself with these territorial gains in the long term and reinserts itself into the European peace order. From today's perspective, this scenario is very unlikely. More likely is that Russia, once it feels strong enough again, will attack again and overwhelm and annex a weakened Ukraine. ... True peace will only be possible if Russia comes to the realisation that aggression doesn't pay off.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

For Wagenknecht the AfD is a workers' party

Gazeta Wyborcza sees signs of growing ties between the left- and right-wing extremes in German politics:

“Wagenknecht's demands and rhetoric are identical to those of the far-right AfD. ... For the former leader of The Left party, the participation of many supporters of the far right at the demonstration doesn't seem to be a problem. As she has often stressed, she believes the AfD is a workers' party that is in a position to win over the disenchanted. In this sense, it competes with The Left for the same electorate.”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Be wary of the peace rhetoric

Lidové noviny explains why the Czechs, who witnessed the crushing of the Prague Spring in 1968, take a critical view of peace demonstrations:

“Peace is one of the things people desire most. Especially in a region that has experienced two world wars. But at the same time - in this region which has also experienced two totalitarianism systems - peace can also be the stuff of manipulative words. ... In 1985, (then dissident) Václav Havel wrote in an essay that the word 'peace' had been robbed of its content in our latitudes. ... The wariness vis-à-vis peace activists described by Havel still applies. At least for the generations that were given such an effective vaccine in the form of the Soviet invasion.”