Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev, was doused in red paint by a large group of pro-Ukraine protesters calling him a “facist” during a Victory Day commemoration at the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw. Andreev later told Russian media outlet RIA Novosti that neither himself or any members of his team were injured during the incident. Polish officials stated that they previously advised Andreev to attend the ceremony due to the expectation that he would be met by a crowd.
Footage showed Sergey Andreev covered in paint as protesters prevented the ambassador and others from laying a wreath.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 9, 2022
According to Russian media outlet TASS, the Russian embassy will file a formal protest over the incident. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has condemned the incident as well, calling those who threw paint “admirers of neo-Nazism,” adding that “the West has set a course for the reincarnation of fascism.”
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau also condemned the incident, calling it “highly deplorable.” He also stated that “Diplomats enjoy special protection, regardless of the policies pursued by the governments that they represent.” Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski, however, said the actions of the protestors were “understandable.” He said that “The gathering of opponents of Russian aggression against Ukraine, where the crime of genocide takes place every day, was legal. The emotions of Ukrainian women taking part in the demonstration, whose husbands are fighting bravely in defense of their homeland, are understandable.”