"Of course we stand by the Ukrainian people. We welcome the people who have to flee from the terrible war with open hearts and arms," said Berlin's Social Senator Katja Kipping (Left Party) on Saturday (February 26, 2022) at the arrival center in the Reinickendorf district. "We need a fast and unbureaucratic arrangement for a work permit," Kipping said. She appealed to Berliners: "Reach out to people and give them a warm welcome."
120 refugees from Ukraine arrived in Berlin
After the Russian attack on Ukraine, many people are fleeing the Eastern European country. The first refugees have also arrived in Berlin.
"Many of our acquaintances want to get away from Ukraine, but they have no chance."
Among the refugees are Julia and Aleksandra. The two women, aged 20 and 21, have come to Berlin from Minsk. They can stay with acquaintances here and don't have to stay at the arrival center. "People are sitting in the basements in Kiev," the two reported. "It's a big disaster." Right with the start of the war, they said, they set out by train. Instead of the usual nine hours or so, they said, it took them about 20 hours to travel one of the routes. "Many of our acquaintances want to get away from Ukraine, but they have no chance." Now they are hoping for support in Germany. "The important thing is to be safe for now." Should it be safe again in Ukraine, they wanted to return.
"My mother is alone at home"
Volodymyre from Odessa has already come to Germany a few weeks ago as a vacationer. He is a lawyer and would like to work in Germany. During the time of his vacation he was traveling across the country and visiting friends in southern Germany. Now, because of the war, he can't go back. He doesn't know what to do next. "My mother is home alone," the man says. "I am worried. The cellar has been converted into a shelter. The area has been shelled. Fighter planes are in the air. The Internet is down. Communication is difficult."
Large peace demonstration planned
Earlier on Saturday, several hundred people had again demonstrated against Russia's attack on Ukraine. On Sunday, an alliance of trade unions, left-wing initiatives, environmental organizations and peace groups plans to take to the streets in Berlin. The organizers hope for 20,000 participants who want to gather on the Straße des 17. Juni at the Victory Column from 1 pm. The title is "Stop the war. Peace for Ukraine and all of Europe".