Czech activists held a peace rally in front of the National Theatre building in Prague on Tuesday night, paying tribute to those who were killed by Russian shelling in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
Participants spelt out the word “children” in Russian with candles, a reference to similar signs seen at a bombed Mariupol theatre where hundreds had sought shelter. The death toll from the attack on the theatre is still unclear, but survivors told the BBC that they saw terrible and heartbreaking scenes.
For weeks, Mariupol has been under constant shelling by Russian forces, which have completely surrounded the port city.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said there is “nothing left” of Mariupol, adding that 100,000 civilians are trapped without access to food, water or medicine.There’s been a wave of support for Ukraine in the Czech Republic, with thousands turning up at protests against Russia since the war began.
About 270,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered the country, and the Czech parliament has approved laws making it easier for the refugees to access work and health insurance.
But government officials have also expressed concerns on how they can continue to cope with the ongoing influx – a minister has said the country is “balancing on the edge of capacities where we are able to provide comfortable living conditions”.
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