Three people were fined by Hong Kong police at a pro-Ukraine demonstration in Central on Thursday evening.

A Police Public Relations Branch officer said three people were handed HK$5,000 fines for allegedly gathering in groups larger than two on Thursday evening. Separately, a 32-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were arrested for failing to present their identity documents. Both were Ukrainian, police said.

hong kong ukraine protest central
A women holds her baby in a Ukrainian flag as people protest to mark the one-month mark of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on a street in Hong Kong on March 24, 2022. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP.

On Twitter, a photo and a video showed two people – both with a Ukrainian flag draped around them – being questioned by officers on Queen’s Road Central before being escorted into a police van.

The protest followed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s calls for citizens worldwide to take to the streets and show solidarity with Ukrainians to mark one month since Russia invaded its eastern European neighbour.

“The world must stop the war,” Zelensky said, speaking in English in a video message on Wednesday. “Come from your offices, your homes, your schools and universities, come in the name of peace, come with Ukrainian symbols to support Ukraine, to support freedom, to support life.”

The protest in Central on Thursday was small in scale. Images showed a handful of people holding up Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag, with one woman carrying a sign that read “Stop genocide in Mariupol,” referring to the southeastern Ukrainian city that has been devastated by bombings.

The month-long conflict has left Ukraine in ruins, with hospitals and apartment buildings bombed and residents forced to flee their homes. Thousands have died and millions have fled the country since Russia’s military invaded.

Earlier in March, Hongkongers also showed support for Ukraine with socially distanced protests in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui.

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