The West and NATO’s sanctions against Russia in response to its illegal invasion of Ukraine have backfired as protests have erupted in many European cities this week in response to a looming energy crisis the sanctions have caused as a bitterly cold winter approaches.
Protestors first took to the streets of Europe in September to protest rising energy costs and soaring inflation caused in part by NATO’s sanctions on Russia. While some countries were able to provide financial relief packages for their citizens, others were not able to.
In several European countries including France, Belgium, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Germany citizens have marched in protest of NATO’s involvement in supporting Ukraine as it has caused NATO countries to prioritize support for Ukraine over the needs of their citizens. European’s financial woes have been the result of sanctions against Moscow that have caused energy hyperinflation as well as a shortage of liquid natural gas that has many Europeans scrambling to find new means to heat their homes this winter.
The people aren’t the only ones scrambling to find solutions as the Polish government has eased restrictions on burning trash in homes to allow its citizens an alternative method of heat. The U.K. is now allowing fracking, and Germans are panic-buying electric heaters.
Discontent and frustrations continue to mount as winter approaches. In Paris, protestors have taken to the city’s boulevards to protest NATO and the EU.
In the Czech Republic, people protested in Prague against NATO over concerns about freezing this winter due to the energy crisis NATO’s Russian sanctions have caused.
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In Dresden, Germans pushed for NATO to end sanctions against Russia claiming that they didn’t want to starve or freeze for Ukraine.
Protests were also held in Hamburg and Rome. In Germany, popularity has risen from 10 percent to 15 percent for the conservative Alternative for Germany, or AfD party as it has called for Russian sanctions to be lifted.
A pollster, Manfred Güllner said, “This is merely the silence before the storm – the discontent is great, and people do not have any sense that the government has a plausible strategy to master the crisis.” Given all the protests across so many European cities recently, it appears that Güllner’s sentiment is accurate in many countries, not just Germany.