By Friederike Heine
BERLIN (Reuters) – As fighting raged on in Ukraine’s east and south, its allies around the world lit up landmark monuments, held vigils and prepared new sanctions in a collective show of support on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
In Germany, where the government has ditched its “Wandel durch Handel” (change through trade) approach to Russia and funnelled weapons to Ukraine, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion must fail.
“What Putin is doing is bringing imperialism back to Europe,” Habeck said in a video message posted to Twitter as the Ukrainian flag flew atop the historic Reichstag parliament building.
“If this is successful, then peace in Europe is permanently endangered,” Habeck added.
U.S. President Joe Biden will meet virtually on Friday with G7 leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to mark the anniversary and announce new sanctions against those aiding Russia’s war effort. Britain also issued new sanctions.
Paris lit up the Eiffel Tower in the Ukrainian flag colours of blue and yellow on Thursday night and people draped in Ukrainian flags, with hands on their hearts, gathered at a vigil in London holding a banner: “If you stand for freedom, stand for Ukraine.”
“There will be a life after this war, because Ukraine will win,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a speech.
In Italy, the Senate said it would illuminate its Palazzo Madama building in the colours of the Ukraine national flag from sunset on Friday to sunrise on Saturday.
(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Alison Williams)