Warsaw.- Protesters opposed to the war in Ukraine threw red paint at the Russian Ambassador to Poland as he arrived at a Warsaw cemetery on Monday and prevented him from paying his respects to Red Army soldiers who died during World War II.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the attack, saying “we will not be scared”, while “the people of Europe should be afraid to see their reflection in a mirror”.
Ambassador Sergey Andreev came to the cemetery for Soviet soldiers to lay flowers for Victory Day, which commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allies. The day was celebrated ostentatiously in a parade on Moscow’s Red Square.
When the Ambassador arrived at the cemetery in Warsaw, he was greeted by hundreds of activists who oppose Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Videos show red paint being thrown at him from behind before a protester next to him threw a large amount in his face.
The protesters prevented the Ambassador and others from placing flowers in the cemetery.
The protesters carried Ukrainian flags and shouted at the Ambassador “fascist” and “murderer”, and some were wrapped in white sheets covered in blood to symbolize the Ukrainian victims. Others in the Ambassador’s group were also sprayed with what appeared to be red paint.
Police arrived at the scene to help the official and other members of his delegation get out of there.
The Polish government faced some criticism for not providing more security for the Ambassador. Others criticized the official for showing up at the cemetery in light of the war in Ukraine, describing his presence there as a provocation.
Also on Sunday, there were demonstrations in Warsaw against the war. The protesters towed a military tank with a tractor that they parked in front of the Russian Embassy. Since the war began on February 24, images of tractors pulling Russian tanks have been symbols of Ukrainian resistance.