A look at how the Ukraine war anniversary is being marked around the world

Click to play video: 'Russia-Ukraine war: A timeline of the year-long conflict'
Russia-Ukraine war: A timeline of the year-long conflict
WATCH: Russia-Ukraine war — A timeline of the year-long conflict – Feb 24, 2023

Countries across the world are marking the first anniversary of Russia’s war on Ukraine with commemoration events, fresh sanctions and aid for Kyiv.

From Asia to Europe, people are gathering Friday for rallies and vigils in solidarity with Ukraine as the country continues to face Russia’s invasion that was launched on Feb. 24, 2022 – and shows no sign of ending.

Since the start of the war, western nations, including Canada, have taken a strong, united stand in condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for waging war on its neighbour, with a range of sweeping sanctions and assistance for Ukraine.

On Friday, the United States marked the anniversary by announcing new sanctions against Russia and its allies, as well as US$2 billion in military aid to Ukraine. The United Kingdom also issued fresh sanctions.

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Meanwhile, Canada announced more than $32 million in security support for Ukraine.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend an evening vigil in Toronto to mark the sombre occasion.

Earlier in the afternoon, he is scheduled to deliver remarks alongside Defence Minister Anita Anand.

People from U.S.-based non-profit organization Avaaz light candles beside teddy bears in Schuman Roundabout, the heart of the EU district on Feb. 24, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images
People placing candles on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral at the Light for Ukraine candlelight memorial event for Ukraine war victims at the Senate Square in Helsinki, Finland on Feb. 24, 2023. LEHTIKUVA / RONI REKOMAA - FINLAND OUT.
A policeman raises the flag of Ukraine in front of the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt in Magdeburg, Germany, Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/dpa via AP
Wreaths and flowers adorn a wall covered with photos of soldiers killed during the war in Kyiv on Friday, Feb 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Laura Osman

Several of Ukraine’s European allies are paying tribute.

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On the eve of the anniversary Thursday, the Eiffel Tower in the French capital, Paris, was among the major landmarks lit up in Ukrainian flag colours, blue and yellow.

In Italy, the Senate said it would illuminate its Palazzo Madama building in the colours of the Ukrainian flag from sunset on Friday to sunrise on Saturday.

The Eiffel Tower is illuminated with the colours of Ukraine to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the country, in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2023. AP Photo/Christophe Ena
People attend a vigil at the Trafalgar Square organized by the Ukrainian and U.S. embassies, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, in London, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. AP Photo/Kin Cheung
Vehicles drive past the Portuguese Parliament lit with the Ukrainian flag colours to mark the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, in Lisbon, as night falls Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. AP Photo/Armando Franca

On Thursday, a vigil took place in London’s Trafalgar Square, organized by the Ukrainian and U.S. embassies, and 461 paper angels were hung from the roof of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London to commemorate each Ukrainian child that has died in the past year.

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U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stepped outside his office at No. 10 Downing Street, joining Ukraine’s ambassador and some Ukrainian soldiers being trained in the United Kingdom for a minute’s silence in commemoration of those killed in the fighting.

In Berlin, a wrecked Russian tank was put on display.

Anti-war activists in Belgrade, Serbia, left a cake covered with red icing representing blood and a skull on top on a pavement near the Russian Embassy, which police stopped them from approaching.

Other events were scheduled for later Friday across Europe.

In Australia, the Sydney Opera House was also lit up in Ukraine’s blue and yellow.

Protesters attend a rally to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, near the Russian Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
Ukrainian people living in Thailand hold Ukraine’s national flag during a rally to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. AP Photo/Salkchai Lalit

The commemorations of a grim year for Ukraine spread as far as Asia.

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Peace rallies were held in Tokyo and Seoul, while Ukrainians living in Thailand gathered outside their embassy in Bangkok.

Moscow planned no special events for Friday, as most Russians took a nationwide day off amid an extended public holiday. As part of authorities’ relentless effort to prevent any sign of dissent, police in some areas visited activists’ homes to warn them against trying to stage any demonstrations.

— with files from Reuters and The Associated Press.

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