Police in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, have broken up a small demonstration outside the Russian embassy against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, a handful of activists from the Azerbaijan Democracy and Welfare Party gathered outside the embassy, before being dragged away by police shortly after.
Protesters shouted ‘No to aggression!’, ‘reject Putin!’ and pro-Ukraine slogans, and held placards supporting Ukraine.
Despite the police intervention, party activist Adalat Yusub managed to read out a statement condemning the Russian invasion.
‘The war against Ukraine is unjust, causes many casualties, including the mass destruction of civilians, children, and the elderly — and it must be stopped. This aggression is a threat to stability in the region and the world and could turn into a world war. We demand an end to the war and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders’, he said.
Police detained activist Adalat Yusub and four others, who were released shortly afterwards.
Rufat Muradli, a board member at the Azerbaijan Democracy and Welfare Party, told OC Media that they were protesting the ‘actions of the child killer, Putin’.
‘The world community and humanity cannot remain silent about what a psychopath, aggressor, like Putin is doing. Putin’s threat of aggression is expanding day by day.’
‘We could not remain silent about this occupation’, he added.
Commenting on the police’s response to their protest, Muradli said the government was protecting the Russian embassy ‘at such a high level as if we were rioting’.
On Sunday, hundreds of people held a rally in support of Ukraine in front of the Ukrainian Embassy in Azerbaijan. Police allowed the demonstration to go ahead.
Azerbaijani citizens have also launched a campaign to collect humanitarian aid and donations for Ukraine. The Ukrainian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Vladyslav Kanevsky, regularly informs the public about the progress of the campaign.
The authorities has also announced that the government has sent ₼11 million ($6.5 million) worth of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and SOCAR, the state oil and gas company of Azerbaijan, has also said they are providing free fuel to ambulances and fire engines in Ukraine.