WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Russian ambassador to Poland was splattered with red paint thrown at him by protesters opposing the war in Ukraine, preventing him from paying his respects Monday at a Warsaw cemetery to soldiers from the Red Army dead in World War II.
Ambassador Sergey Andreev arrived at the Cemetery of Soviet Soldiers to lay flowers on Victory Day, which marks Nazi Germany’s defeat by the Allies. The holiday was celebrated with pomp during a parade in Red Square in Moscow.
Upon arriving at the cemetery of Soviet soldiers in the Polish capital, Andreev was greeted by hundreds of activists opposed to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Video footage shows red paint thrown from behind Andreev before a protester standing next to him throws a large drop of it in his face.
The demonstrators prevented the ambassador and others from laying their flowers at the cemetery.
The demonstrators carried Ukrainian flags and chanted “fascist” and “murderer”, while some were dressed in blood-stained white sheets, symbolizing the Ukrainian victims of the Russian war. Others around him were also seen splattered with what appeared to be red paint.
The police arrived at the scene to help the ambassador and other members of his delegation to escape.
Demonstrators also marched through Warsaw in protest against the war, bringing a tank on a tractor and parking it outside the Russian Embassy on Sunday evening. Since the start of the war on February 24, images of Ukrainian tractors pulling Russian tanks have become symbols of Ukrainian resistance.
The Soviet cemetery is located in the middle of a vast park on the road connecting the city center to the international airport. It is the final resting place of more than 20,000 Red Army soldiers who perished in battle helping to defeat Nazi Germany.
While Poland removed some Red Army monuments in the years following the overthrow of the Moscow-backed communist regime, it allowed the cemetery to remain intact.
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The Associated Press