Russian ambassador to Poland attacked with red paint at Warsaw Victory Day memorial

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Protesters doused Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev, in bright red paint — resembling blood — as he was arriving at an event to honor Soviet soldiers who fought in World War II.

Footage posted by Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti showed the ambassador’s face dripping with the liquid as he arrived to lay flowers at the Soviet Military Cemetery on a day of widespread celebrations of victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. The video was shared without audio.

Videos shared to Twitter, however, showed huge crowds, with some people angrily shouting “Fascists!” at a group of Russian officials, whose faces were stained in red. Others at the scene held flowers and Ukrainian flags.

Russia’s ambassador to Poland was splattered with red paint thrown at him by protesters opposed to the war in Ukraine on May 9. (Video: AP)

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the incident, which also targeted the Russian diplomats accompanying Andreev on Monday.

The Russian Embassy in Poland said it would file a formal protest.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry called those responsible for the attack “admirers of neo-Nazism.”

“The demolition of monuments to the heroes of World War II, the desecration of graves, and now the disruption of the flower-laying ceremony on a holy day for every decent person prove the already obvious — the West has set a course for the reincarnation of fascism,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram.

Russia has leveled baseless charges that Ukraine is being led by Nazis, even though its president is Jewish, and has claimed its forces are fighting to “denazify” the country. Ukrainians resisting the invasion describe Russian leaders and troops as “rashists,” a coinage for Russian fascists, and charge that they are the ones acting more like Nazis.

The Russian Embassy was forced to curtail its plans for a march to mark this year’s Victory Day and instead organized a wreath-laying ceremony at the cemetery. Before the ambassador arrived, pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian protesters clashed, and police intervened to separate them, the Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported.

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech from Red Square to commemorate Victory Day, although he did not use his speech to announce plans to escalate the war against Ukraine, as officials around the world had feared.

Victoria Bisset in London contributed to this report.

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