Demonstrators display placards as they march Sunday during a rally in support of Ukraine in Boston. Credit: Steven Senne / AP

BOSTON — Thousands of people took to the streets in downtown Boston on Sunday in support of Ukraine in its battle against invading Russian forces.

The rally started at 1 p.m. by the Boston Public Garden and the group peacefully made its way to the nearby Boston Common.

They also marched down Newbury Street chanting “stop the war” as President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces put on high alert Sunday in a dramatic escalation of the conflict.

Sunday’s march in downtown Boston is the latest large gathering in the region to show support for Ukrainians.

College students from Harvard, MIT and other institutions rallied in neighboring Cambridge on Saturday calling for the U.S. to provide military support to Ukraine and stiffer financial and economic sanctions on Russia, among other measures.

Other groups also demonstrated in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse earlier in the week.