Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev, was hit with red paint at an annual Victory Day event commemorating the end of World War II. According to Independent, protesters attacked Mr Andreev in front of the Soviet Solders’ Cemetery.
It was carried out by people protesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – they later told Polish broadcaster TVN24 the red substance symbolised the blood of Ukrainians.
Video footage released by Russian news agencies showed Sergey Andreev and several other men with paint on their clothes and faces surrounded by a crowd, some holding Ukrainian flags. In other videos of the incident circulating online, anti-war activists can be heard chanting “fascists” and “murderers”.
Andreev told the Russian news agency Tass that he and his team had not been seriously hurt in the incident. The protesters prevented the ambassador from laying flowers at the cemetery and Polish police escorted him away.
Russia’s foreign ministry responded to the incident by demanding Warsaw organise a new wreath-laying ceremony immediately and saying Poland should “ensure complete protection against any provocations”.
This incident comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech marking the 77th anniversary of the triumph of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in 1945 in which he stated that Russia’s military actions in Ukraine are a timely and necessary response to Western policies. Mr Putin said that defending the “Motherland” when its fate is being decided has always been sacred.