Campaigner burns Russian passport as hundreds gather for Ukraine vigil

Hundreds of people gathered near The Mound in Edinburgh for the vigil.

01 March 2022

A campaigner protesting against Vladimir Putin’s invasion has set fire to her Russian passport during a vigil held for the people of Ukraine.

Anna Jakubova, 26, from Moscow, defiantly lit the red booklet with a lighter in front of hundreds of people gathered near The Mound in Edinburgh on Tuesday evening.

Demonstrations have been taking place daily in the Scottish capital and across the country since Mr Putin launched a full-scale military invasion in his neighbouring country on Thursday, bringing together tens of thousands of people who stand in solidarity with Ukraine.

Speaking to PA news agency reporters at the Standing In Solidarity With Ukraine vigil, Ms Jakubova, who travelled from Dundee for the event, said: “I burnt my passport as a gesture against the Russian government and to show that even Russian citizens are turning against this country and the horrific things that it’s doing.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Anna Jakubova sets fire to her Russian passport with a lighter in the centre of Edinburgh to protest Putin’s invasion (Jane Barlow/PA)

“I am hoping to attract attention to the plight of the Ukrainians and give them a voice to amplify their suffering and their struggles.”

Ms Jakubova, who is a graduate from the University of Edinburgh, said while she condemns Russians who voted for Mr Putin’s government, there are citizens from her country demonstrating against the invasion.

She said: “There are quite a few Russians protesting in Moscow and they are risking their livelihoods and their careers and their families.

“I feel I am representing a significant proportion of Russians, even if it’s not the majority.”

Ms Jakubova added: “I don’t want to be a citizen of a country that committed war crimes that are so horrible it killed children and innocent people who are just defending their own country.

“I don’t think I would be able to go back to Russia and I don’t think I want to.

“I feel very sad. I feel shame that it is a country that is associated with me that has done this. I feel like nothing I can do is enough.”

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