Russian envoy to Poland hit with red paint at Warsaw cemetery

WARSAW, Poland >> Russia’s ambassador to Poland was splattered with pink paint thrown at him by protesters against the battle in Ukraine, stopping him from paying respects on at the moment at a Warsaw cemetery to Red Army troopers who died throughout World War II.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the assault, saying that “we won’t be scared” whereas the “people of Europe should be scared to see their reflection in a mirror.”

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau described the incident as “highly deplorable.”

“Diplomats enjoy special protection, regardless of the policies pursued by the governments that they represent,” he mentioned.

Ambassador Sergey Andreev arrived on the Soviet troopers’ cemetery to put flowers on Victory Day, which marks the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allies. The main Russian patriotic vacation was celebrated with pomp in a parade at Red Square in Moscow.

As he arrived on the Soviet Military Cemetery within the Polish capital, Andreev was met by tons of of activists against Russia’s battle in Ukraine. Red paint was thrown from behind at him earlier than a protester standing beside him threw a giant blob of it in his face.

The protesters carried Ukrainian flags and chanted “fascists” and “murderers” at him, whereas some have been wearing white sheets smeared with pink, symbolizing the Ukrainian victims of Russia’s battle. Other individuals in his entourage have been additionally seen splattered with what seemed to be pink paint.

Zakharova mentioned that “admirers of the neo-Nazis have once again shown their face.” She mentioned that together with the elimination of monuments to Soviet military World War II heroes, the assault mirrored the “course for the reincarnation of fascism.”

Some Russian commentators advised that the assault on the ambassador may immediate Moscow to recall him and ask the Polish ambassador to go away Russia.

The Polish authorities confronted some criticism for not offering the ambassador with extra safety, permitting for an incident to happen that Russia may use to depict Poland as hostile to Moscow.

Among the critics was a former inside minister, Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, who mentioned he couldn’t perceive why there wasn’t extra safety for the ambassador when for weeks “you could feel how May 9 could end in Warsaw.”

Poland’s present inside minister, nonetheless, mentioned Poland’s authorities opposed the ambassador in opposition to laying a wreath on the cemetery, and famous that police helped him to securely depart the scene. The ambassador had initially hoped to carry a Victory Day march in Warsaw, however nationwide and metropolis authorities opposed that — and a few considered his look on the cemetery as provocative.

“The gathering of opponents of Russian aggression against Ukraine, where the crime of genocide takes place every day, was legal,” Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski added. “The emotions of Ukrainian women taking part in the demonstration, whose husbands are fighting bravely in defense of their homeland, are understandable.”

Protesters additionally marched in Warsaw on Sunday night to protest the battle, bringing a tank on a tractor and parking it in entrance of the Russian Embassy. Since the battle started on Feb. 24, photographs of Ukrainian tractors hauling off Russian tanks have been symbols of Ukrainian resistance.

The Soviet cemetery is about amid an enormous park on the route linking the downtown to the worldwide airport. It is the ultimate resting place of greater than 20,000 Red Army troopers who perished on Polish soil preventing whereas serving to to defeat Nazi Germany.

While Poland has eliminated some monuments to the Red Army within the many years because it threw off Moscow-backed communist rule, it has allowed the cemetery to stay undisturbed. Though Soviet troopers defeated the Nazis, earlier within the battle the Soviet forces had invaded Poland following a secret settlement with the German Nazi authorities, and carried out atrocities in opposition to Poles, together with mass executions and deportations to Siberia.

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