Earlier this week, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine intensified, I joined a gaggle of about 100 individuals who marched to Arambol in Goa to point out solidarity with the folks of Ukraine and demand a peaceable decision to the battle. was coming in direction of the seaside.

Many individuals round me had flags of Ukraine. Some had indicators saying, “Cease the warfare.” Different indicators had been extra blunt” “Fuck Putin”

Goa is a well-liked vacation spot for vacationers from each Russia and Ukraine. Earlier than the pandemic, between October 2018 and Might 2019, about 90,000 vacationers from Russia arrived in Goa. Up to now this season, solely 3,000 Russians have arrived within the state.

Credit: Harsh Prabhu

Many Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, some from different European international locations and a few Indians had been amongst those that marched in Arambol on Monday.

“Glory to Ukraine,” sang a Ukrainian girl. “Glory to our heroes.”

The most well-liked chant was: “We’d like peace!”

“We did not know this could occur,” stated a Russian girl from Tatarstan, one of many nation’s 22 republics. “It is not our alternative. I need to help Ukraine however I additionally need peace.

A younger Indo-Russian girl stated that warfare within the twenty first century is insanity. “Putin will destroy Ukraine, Russia and the world if it goes nuclear,” he warned.

A Belarusian girl was outraged by Russia’s choice to maneuver troops and weapons by way of her nation: “Putin is utilizing our nation to assault Ukraine.”

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A teenage Russian boy had his personal opinion on the scenario. To be with, he was amazed on the “Russian police maniacally attacking peace protesters in my nation”.

Then he stated: “You should perceive the background of this story. The US controls Ukraine. This media is not going to inform you. And all of the neo-Nazis are there to battle the Russians. However, once more, the media will not inform you that. ,

He was referring to the dismissal of Viktor Yanukovich, the president of pro-Russian Ukraine elected in 2014, which many regard as a US-inspired coup, and the truth that the nation’s present president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is a comic, Leaning in direction of NATO. ,

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The march ended with a message of solidarity for the folks of Ukraine and chants of peace which was echoed by the gang.

That is after I stepped ahead to offer a brief speech on this prompt peace. “Warfare just isn’t the answer,” I stated.

I stated that these of us with lengthy recollections will always remember what occurred throughout the Bangladesh Liberation Warfare of 1971. When India was waging a warfare towards Pakistan on two fronts and the US despatched its seventh fleet to fortify Islamabad, it was the Soviet Union. who got here to our assist.

I additionally identified that Indians and the folks of the Third World help all of the nations that had been a part of the outdated Soviet Union – together with Russia and Ukraine – and need all of them to stay in peace.

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The night ended with the sound of drums carrying this peace message throughout the Arabian Sea, below a blushing rose-petal pink sundown.

Pink is the colour of rose quartz, an emblem of timeless love.

Solely love – and her maidservant, brave need to check the reality of any scenario – can conquer concern and hatred.

Sure, because the anti-war anthem by Edwin Starr from the Peace Motion in America within the Seventies sings it: Warfare is nice for completely nothing.

Aside from the navy industrial complicated that runs the world.

Credit: Harsh Prabhu

Harsha Prabhu is a journalist and photographer based mostly in Goa.

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