The Russian ambassador to Poland was sprayed with a red substance on Monday (May 9) by pro-Ukrainian demonstrators in Warsaw on the occasion of the anniversary of the end of the Second World War. According to an AFP photographer present on the spot, pro-Ukrainian activists, chanting “fascists” and waving the Ukrainian national flag, blocked the passage of the ambassador when he was to lay a wreath at the cemetery in Warsaw where the Soviet soldiers who died during the Second World War are buried.

May 9, 1945 marks for the Russians the victory over Nazi Germany. Afterwards, a few people threw a red substance on the ambassador’s face and clothes, and also splashed his surroundings. After wiping his face with his hand, Sergei Andreev said: “I am proud of my country and my president”. Andreev told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that he was not seriously injured in the attack, adding that the red substance was a kind of syrup.

Strong reaction in Moscow

The incident was immediately denounced by Moscow. Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for Russian diplomacy, indicated that “supporters of neo-Nazism have once again shown their faces, and it is bloody”. Moscow also addressed “a firm protest” to the Polish authorities “because of their indulgence towards young Neo-Nazis.”

Russia, which constantly denounces the “Russophobia” of Westerners in general and of Poland in particular, has also demanded to be able to organize “without delaying the wreath-laying ceremony, ensuring its complete security in the face of all kinds of provocations”. Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said after the incident that “the Polish authorities did not recommend that the Russian ambassador lay flowers on May 9 in Warsaw” and that the latter had nevertheless been able to leave the premises under police protection. Mariusz Kaminski also tweeted that the activists had gathered there legally to protest against “Russian aggression in Ukraine, where every day the crime of genocide takes place.”


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