A few dozen Iranians gathered in central Kyiv on Friday to protest the alleged use of Iranian-made drones by Russian forces in strikes on Ukraine that have in particular targeted energy infrastructure.
At the call of the local Iranian community, the demonstrators gathered on the city’s Maidan Square in the heart of the Ukrainian capital, holding up Iranian and Ukrainian flags.
Some held posters saying: “The Iranian people stand with Ukraine”.
“The country where we were born and the regime currently in power sends drones to kill us and our friends,” 34-year-old Iranian architect Maziar Mian told AFP.
“It is very painful… We had to express our opinion and say that we are against it,” he added.
Nilu, a 29-year-old Iranian woman, said she came to tell Ukrainians that “we, Iranian people are separate from the Islamic Republic (of Iran)”.
Mian said that he was also there “to express our support for the Iranian people, who have been protesting for more than forty days against the criminal regime”.
Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Iran of supplying Moscow with Iranian-made drones used in attacks across Ukraine, including on Kyiv.
Iran has rejected these claims and Moscow accused the West of using these accusations to put “pressure” on Tehran.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has proposed cutting diplomatic ties with Iran.
In Kyiv, an Iranian flag was still visible above the Iranian diplomatic compound in Kyiv but “there is no one left” in the embassy, according to an Iranian present at the demonstration.