A number of major European cities have often held pro-Putin rallies on the same day, with pundits claiming Russia is organizing displays of support for the faltering Ukraine war
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Russia could coordinate demonstrations across Europe in support of its invasion of Ukraine, it has been claimed.
Major cities including Berlin, Dublin, Hanover, Frankfurt and Athens have seen mass gatherings on the streets in recent weeks, with participants waving Russian tricolors.
Vehicles have also been seen with the pro-war Z markings, a symbol emblazoned on many tanks and armored vehicles used by the invading forces.
And those involved have been spreading the same propaganda in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Because the marches often take place at around the same time despite being hundreds of kilometers apart, critics suggest this is a telltale sign that they were organized in large numbers by Moscow.
Snapshot Photography/F Boillot/REX/Shutterstock)
Experts say the Kremlin’s federal agency, Rossotrudnichestvo, may have ordered Russian expatriates living in neighboring countries to hold such demonstrations to garner support for the war.
Yesterday, Serbia saw hundreds of people joining a right-wing march with pictures of Putin and t-shirts with the letter Z.
It was the latest in a string of such demonstrations of support for the cause, with many Serbs loyal to Russia with anti-Western sentiments dating back to 1999, when NATO forced Belgrade to abandon Kosovo.
Russia has supported its efforts to preserve the province, which declared independence in 2008.
The protest was primarily directed against the Serbian authorities, who voted to suspend Russia’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council.
A similar demonstration with up to 900 people in a convoy of 400 meanwhile moved through the German capital on April 3.
A woman has been arrested for wearing the Z on her clothing, which has become a criminal offense in parts of the country.
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On the same day, Athens held its own rally, and last Sunday a series of pro-Russian demonstrations were held elsewhere in Europe.
Many of the number plates on cars involved in Dublin on April 10 had number plates registered to Russian expats, sources said The times.
Ben Noble, associate professor of Russian politics at University College London, told the newspaper Moscow was concerned about the lack of genuine support for its invasion.
He said: “Controlling these optics is something the Russian authorities see as an important task.”
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Fellow expert Mark Galeotti, an analyst and Russia specialist, said: “[Rossotrudnichestvo] exists precisely to reach out to these expat and ethnic Russian communities, and is clearly often used as a vehicle to show support for Kremlin policies.”
While Sam Ramani, an international relations expert at Oxford University, said it would be fairly easy to rally support in countries with large Russian expatriate communities.
He added that it is “very possible” that the Kremlin has “local stooges” to organize such anti-Western groups.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/russia-co-ordinating-support-ukraine-26728633 Russia 'coordinates support for war in Ukraine across Europe' with demos on same day - World News