Russian International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the assault, saying on her messaging app channel that “we received’t be scared” whereas the “individuals of Europe must be scared to see their reflection in a mirror.”
Polish International Minister Zbigniew Rau described the incident as “extremely deplorable.”
“Diplomats take pleasure in particular safety, whatever the insurance policies pursued by the governments that they signify,” he mentioned.
Ambassador Sergey Andreev arrived at the Soviet troopers’ cemetery to lay flowers on Victory Day, which marks the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allies. The main Russian patriotic vacation was celebrated with pomp in a parade at Red Sq. in Moscow.
As he arrived at the Soviet Army Cemetery within the Polish capital, Andreev was met by a whole bunch of activists opposed to Russia’s war in Ukraine. The protesters first snatched away a wreath of flowers that he had meant to lay at the cemetery and trampled it. Red paint was thrown from behind at him earlier than a protester standing beside him threw a giant blob of it in his face.
The protesters carried Ukrainian flags and chanted “fascists” and “murderers” at him, in Russian, whereas some had been wearing white sheets smeared with red, symbolizing the Ukrainian victims of Russia’s war. Different individuals in his entourage had been additionally seen splattered with what appeared to be red paint.
Zakharova mentioned that “admirers of the neo-Nazis have as soon as once more proven their face.” She mentioned that alongside with the elimination of monuments to Soviet military World War II heroes, the assault mirrored the “course for the reincarnation of fascism.”
Some Russian commentators prompt that the assault on the ambassador may immediate Moscow to recall him and ask the Polish ambassador to depart.
The Polish authorities confronted criticism for not offering the ambassador with extra safety, permitting for an incident to happen that Russia may use to depict Poland as hostile to Moscow.
Among the many critics was a former inside minister, Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, who mentioned he could not perceive why there wasn’t extra safety for the ambassador when for weeks “you possibly can really feel how Could 9 may finish in Warsaw.”
Poland’s present inside minister, nevertheless, mentioned Poland’s authorities had suggested the ambassador in opposition to laying flowers at the cemetery, and famous that police helped him to safely depart the scene.
“The gathering of opponents of Russian aggression in opposition to Ukraine, the place the crime of genocide takes place day-after-day, was authorized,” Inside Minister Mariusz Kaminski added. “The feelings of Ukrainian girls participating within the demonstration, whose husbands are preventing bravely in protection of their homeland, are comprehensible.”
Protesters additionally marched in Warsaw on Sunday night to protest the war, bringing a tank on a tractor and parking it in entrance of the Russian Embassy. Because the war started on Feb. 24, photographs of Ukrainian tractors hauling off Russian tanks have been symbols of Ukrainian resistance.
The Soviet cemetery is ready amid an enormous park on the route linking downtown to the worldwide airport. It’s the ultimate resting place of greater than 20,000 Red Military troopers who perished on Polish soil preventing whereas serving to to defeat Nazi Germany.
Whereas Poland has eliminated some monuments to the Red Military within the many years because it threw off Moscow-backed communist rule, it has allowed the cemetery to stay undisturbed. Although Soviet troopers defeated the Nazis, earlier within the war the Soviet forces had invaded Poland following a secret settlement with the German Nazi authorities, and carried out atrocities in opposition to Poles, together with mass executions and deportations to Siberia.