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Russian Ambassador Sergei Andreev doused with red paint by protesters in Poland

Russian ambassador doused with paint
Russian ambassador doused with red paint in Warsaw 00:22

Demonstrators in Poland's capital on Monday attacked Russia's ambassador with red paint and prevented him from laying flowers at a cemetery for Soviet soldiers to commemorate the victory over Nazi Germany.

When the delegation led by Russian Ambassador Sergei Andreev appeared at Warsaw's Mausoleum Cemetery, hundreds of protesters opposed to Russia's war in Ukraine greeted them with shouts of "murderers" and "fascists." While Andreev was stuck in the crowd, two bags of red paint hit him in the head, first from behind, then directly in the face.

Russian Ambassador to Poland, Ambassador Sergey Andreev reacts after being covered with red paint during a protest prior a ceremony at the Soviet soldier war mausoleum in Warsaw, Poland on May 9, 2022, on the day of the 77th anniversary of the 1945 Soviet victory against Nazi Germany. WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images

The demonstrators then prevented him from laying flowers and a memorial wreath for the Russian Embassy cameras. Andreyev and his delegation quickly returned to the car.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the attack, saying on her messaging app channel that "we won't be scared" while the "people of Europe should be scared to see their reflection in a mirror."

But Poland's current interior minister noted that Poland's government had advised the Russian ambassador against laying flowers at the cemetery.

"The gathering of opponents of Russian aggression against Ukraine, where the crime of genocide takes place every day, was legal," Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski added. "The emotions of Ukrainian women taking part in the demonstration, whose husbands are fighting bravely in defense of their homeland, are understandable."

Russia on Monday celebrated Victory Day over Nazi Germany. The Mausoleum Cemetery in Warsaw was established a few years after the end of World War II and has the character of a large park. Buried there are the remains of more than 20,000 soldiers who died in 1944 and 1945.

Poland has taken in more than 3.2 million refugees from its eastern neighbor since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

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