'Never-Ending War of Attrition': Thousands Rally in Germany Calling for End to Weapons Supply to Ukraine

Organizers said some 50,000 people turned up at a demonstration in Berlin on Saturday against Germany's continued supply of weapons to Ukraine. Similar rallies were held in other German cities, the organizers said, even as anger is brewing in Germany over the arms support to Ukraine.

The demonstration titled 'Uprising for Peace' was conducted by a faction of Germany's left-wing Die Linke party, led by Sahra Wagenknecht. Veteran feminist campaigner Alice Schwarzer was also among the organizers of the rally.

Leopard battle tanks
Germany's Leopard Battle tanks for Ukraine Wikimedia Commons/ Boevaya mashina

According to German police, at least 13,000 people took part in the demonstration, which was held at the Brandenburg Gate. The organizers said they do not support the decision by the government of Olaf Scholz and foreign minister Annalena Baerbock to continue supplying weapons to Ukraine.

Wagenknecht said a 'citizens' initiative for peace must be rolled out and that the demonstration will be a 'signal for a new, strong peace movement in Germany'.

"We call on the German chancellor to stop the escalation of arms deliveries. Now!...Because every day lost costs up to 1,000 more lives - and brings us closer to a 3rd world war," the protesters said.

Never-Ending War of Attrition

The anti-war protesters said the world should bring an end to the "terrible suffering and dying in Ukraine" even if it means to start negotiations with Russia. They said the West, instead, is pushing 'never-ending war of attrition with ever newer weapons'.

Berlin anti-war protest
Berlin anti-war protest Reuters

Germany is the second largest donor for Ukraine after the United States and is the fourth largest military equipment supplies to Ukraine after the US, UK and Poland. According to the DW, Germany has given 2.6 billion euros so far to Ukraine, helping it prolong the war.

Meanwhile, a new opinion poll revealed the German's increasing frustration with the war and the increasing German role in it. The poll conducted by Germany's DPA news agency and research institute YouGov showed the majority of Germans believe that rising arms deliveries to Ukraine is a form of participation in the war against Russia.

In January, Germany said it was sending Leopard 2 heavy battle tanks to Ukraine. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced the decision, adding that the first tanks will reach Ukraine in three to four months. The plan is to send as many as 14 Leopard 2 tanks from Germany's own stock. Berlin said it will also authorize other countries to re-export the German-made tanks.

Last week, a survey held in the US showed that support among Americans for providing military aid to Ukraine has fallen to 58 percent. This is in sharp contrast to a survey in April 2022 that showed an overwhelming 73 percent of Americans supported total assistance to Ukraine.

Shifting Perceptions

Zelensky is totally dependent on financial aid from America and the NATO allies and he knows full well that his chances against Russia depend solely on trapping the US in a never ending war of attrition with Russia. With more and more Americans becoming aware of the rising cost of war both in terms of human life and finances, there will be increasing demands to find compromises and end the war. In Europe, powerful NATO allies like France and Germany, much as they don't want a Putin victory, are of the view that the war must end. It's only the US and UK who are on board the plan to go to any extent in seeing Russia's destruction. Within the European Union, popular support for war funding is dwindling in countries like Italy and Russia.