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Russia demands apology from Poland over red paint “incident”

sergey-andreev

Warsaw, Poland – Russia has asked Poland to issue a formal apology days after its ambassador in Warsaw was doused in red paint as a sign of protest against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Russia expects an official apology from the Polish leadership in connection with the incident and demands the safety of the Russian ambassador and all employees of Russian foreign institutions in Poland are ensured,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“A decision on further steps will be taken depending on Warsaw’s reaction to our demands,” it added, accusing Poland of “tolerating neo-Nazis”.

On Monday, the Russian ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev was heckled by a crowd of protesters and doused with red paint at the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw, which he was visiting to mark Victory Day, the Russian holiday celebrating the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.

Andreev eventually left the scene safely, including with the help of Polish police, but video footage of the incident widely circulated on social media, sparking mockery and ridicule against the Russian envoy.

Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau described the red paint attack as “highly deplorable” but noted that the Russian ambassador had been warned that visiting the cemetery on May 9 could cause such an incident.

Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński for his part insisted that “the emotions of Ukrainian women taking part in the demonstration, whose husbands are fighting bravely in defence of their homeland, are understandable”.

A Polish government spokesman added that Russia “should stop committing genocide in Ukraine” if it wishes to avoid such actions.

Polish authorities said that Poland’s embassy in Moscow was reportedly splattered with red paint on Wednesday in an apparent act of revenge.