Politics

Russian ambassador doused with red paint at Soviet cemetery in Warsaw


Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreyev, has been doused with red paint during a protest against his visit to a Soviet war cemetery in Warsaw to mark Victory Day, a Russian holiday commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

There had been controversy surrounding this year’s event amid the war in Ukraine. The Russian embassy had earlier been forced to abandon plans to mark the day with a march in Warsaw after protests from the city authorities and Polish foreign ministry.

However, Andreyev nevertheless visited the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw, where the remains of more than 20,000 Soviet soldiers are buried. It was created in the late 1940s, at a time when Poland had been brought under Soviet-backed communist rule.

As Andreyev arrived at the cemetery, he was met by protesters chanting “fascists” and “killers”, reports TVN24. Some people tried to physically assault him and one poured paint over the ambassador.

“This is to symbolise the blood of the Ukrainian nation shed by Russians in Ukraine,” participants told the broadcaster. They also removed the wreath that the ambassador had left under a tree and threw it back at the Russian delegation.

Andreyev himself condemned the attack, saying that it was a violation of Polish law. Asked if he was not ashamed of his actions, he said that he is “proud of my country and  president”. He also dismissed claims of war crimes by Russia in Bucha as a “staged provocation”.

Warsaw police issued a brief statement saying that before noon they were forced to intervene in an incident at the cemetery and that further information would be provided in due course.

Meanwhile, billboards from the Polish government’s international “Stop Russia Now” campaign were positioned outside the cemetery, informed the Polish foreign ministry.

Poland has been among the strongest supporters of Ukraine since Russia’s invasion and has pushed for tougher international sanctions against Moscow. It has also renewed its efforts to remove Soviet-era monuments from public spaces in Poland.

Poland renews push to remove Soviet monuments amid Russia’s war in Ukraine

Main image credit: Slawomir Kaminski / Agencja Wyborcza.pl





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