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Russian supporters and counter-demonstrators protest in Cologne

The energy shortage crisis in Germany looms as the heating season approaches, testing the resolve of German citizens in their support against Russia’s war on Ukraine.

On Sunday, near 2000 protesters took to the streets of Cologne in the demonstration, urging the elected officials to put their energy needs over the support for Ukraine.

Among the protesters, some can be seen waving Russian flags, signalling their support for the country that invaded its neighbour. Some protestors urged the German government to pull their support for Ukraine, as well as their sanctions on Russia. They stated that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that had been supporting a big portion of the German energy market via Russian Gas must be turned back on for their daily lives to function.

The protestors call for the resignation of the minister of foreign affairs Annalena Baerbock, and demand the Nord Stream 2 to be turned back on, even if it means withdrawing support for Ukraine would result in the country ceding ground to Russia.

Germany is home to some 3 million people of Russian ethnic background, many of them heavily exposed to Kremlin narratives about the world via state-controlled Russian television, which is widely available.

Though Germany’s Russian diaspora is vast, there have been relatively few pro-Putin rallies since the start of the war.

The rally, organised by Russian-speaking diaspora groups in the city, was met by a few dozen counter-protesters who had also gathered in the shadow of Cologne’s hulking Gothic cathedral to express support for Ukraine.

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