Around 30 people, consisting of both Ukrainians and Russians, rallied in Phuket’s Patong last Saturday to call for an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The rally took place on the first anniversary after Russia first invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The demonstrators held placards with slogans in English and Russian, some of which included “No war”, “Peace for Ukraine”, “Putin go away”, and “Freedom to all political prisoners”.
Some held Ukrainian flags, while others held the new Russian blue and white flags used by those who oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The demonstration of placards only lasted about 15 minutes, and no Thais appeared to participate.
This rally comes after Thailand voted for Russia to end the war in Ukraine and withdraw troops immediately at the United Nations General Assembly on June 23. Thailand’s vote was significant because the country had previously abstained from condemning Russia’s annexation of Ukraine at a UN Assembly in October 2022.
Thailand’s former stance on Russia and Ukraine was to remain neutral, with the government advocating for all parties to exercise “maximum restraint” and supporting a policy of dialogue to achieve peace.
However, not everyone in Thailand agreed with this new stance. Earlier this month, an anti-Putin slogan was spray-painted on a large rock at Nai Thon Beach in Phuket, criticising Russia’s president and his role in the invasion of Ukraine.
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, a total of 7,155 civilians have been killed as of February 5, 2023.
The protest comes at a time when Thailand has become one of the most popular destinations for Russian citizens heading for holidays and looking for a new home. Yesterday the Real Estate Information Centre reported that Russian citizens owned nearly 40% of foreign-owned condos on the island, taking over the top position for ownership from the Chinese.
SOURCE: The Phuket News