Ukraine: Protests gather at Holyrood to stand against Russian invasion

DEMONSTRATORS have gathered for a third day in Edinburgh to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine – this time outside Scottish Parliament.

After two days of demonstrations outside the Russian consulate in the Scottish capital, protesters today set up shop outside Holyrood.

Tears were shed as the crowds chanted “please help Ukraine” and “slava Ukraini” (glory to Ukraine) on Saturday to show their solidarity with those at the hands of Vladimir Putin’s aggressive advance.

A megaphone was passed around demonstrators, some sharing personal stories about relatives currently hiding in basements in Kyiv to avert shelling and gunfire, with others urging the Scottish Government and other European powers to do more.

READ MORE: Films and images shared across social media as Ukraine conflict deepens

One protestor was Edinburgh resident Marjan Pokhyly, who is originally from Ukraine. He told reporters on the scene that he was concerned for his grandmother, who is still in the country, and said there is people in regular clothes marking her building for artillery strikes.

The 28-year-old graduate said MSPS need to do more to protect his country as he stood outside Holyrood with a Ukranain flag draped over his shoulders.

He said: “They (MSPs) can fully demand that Nato does more, that Nato covers the skies.

“People like me can just talk, that’s all we can do, we can come to these demonstrations, but it’s politicians who must make those laws happen.

“They must look for more opportunities to help Ukraine.”

He added: “At the moment it’s just words. It’s very easy to stand here and speak to show support. But words don’t stop Russian aggression.”

Among the same crowd was MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, Ash Regan. She appeared to be the only Scottish politican to show face at the demonstration outside the very building she works in.

She insisted Scotland could do more if the nation was independent, as she voiced her belief of the UK Government being ‘slow to act’ in its support for Ukraine.

READ MORE: Volodymyr Zelensky tweets from the streets while Nicola Sturgeon praises defenders
HeraldScotland: MSP Ash Regan speaking at the protestMSP Ash Regan speaking at the protest

She said: “It’s frustrating because if Scotland was an independent country we could be more involved in this,

“At the moment we are in a position where we are looking to the UK because it’s the UK that acts on the international stage.

“We need to put pressure on them to do as much as we possibly can.”

She added: “The first wave of sanctions put on russa did not go far enough.

“They did not represent enough of a response to what has been happening,” she said.

“We need to be looking for the absolute strongest response that we can make as part of the UK, but also as part of a coordinated international approach.”

Elsewhere, people showing their support for Ukraine lay down flowers and wrote messages such as “I stand with Ukraine” in chalk on the pavement outside the Consulate General of Russia in Edinburgh.

Campaigners shared videos and pictures of themselves holding the Ukrainian and Scottish flags outside the building, which was surrounded by protests earlier this week.

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