04/07/2014. Ukrainian Community protesting against Russian military invertion in Ukraine outside the Russian Embassy in Pretoria. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Johannesburg -

The Ukranian community in South Africa staged a protest on Friday outside the Russian Embassy against the invasion and war being waged in the Ukraine. They also delivered a petition demanding that Russia withdraw its troops.

The petition is to be delivered to Russia through the Russian Ambassador, Mikhail Ivanovich Petrakov.

Protesters chanted anti-Putin and anti-Russia slogans such as “Putin, stop killing Ukranians!” and “Russia go home!”

Russian military forces occupied the Crimean Peninsula, which is the territory of Ukraine. Russia at the time insisted that the forces did not include Russian troops. However, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, later admitted that Russian troops were in fact active in Crimea.

In their petition the Ukrainian community demands that support, funding and arming of movements in Ukraine by the Russian Federation cease immediately. They demand that compensation be paid by Russia to victims and families of victims of the invasion into Ukraine and to the Ukraine for the damage caused to the infrastructure.

Natalia Zockriachenko, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian community, said they were deeply unsatisfied with the occupation and would like the war against their people to be brought to an end.

“We are happy with the support that we have received, but the fact of the matter is that our people back home are dying for nothing.”

Olena Harrison, one of the protesters, said they were satisfied that someone had collected their petition even though they did not seem “open” to the gesture. “He just came and took it,” she said.

- Pretoria News Weekend