A Polish minister has defended the policing of an anti-war protest that resulted in the Russian ambassador being doused with red paint.
On Monday Sergey Andreyev was surrounded by demonstrators as he tried to lay a wreath at a Soviet war memorial to mark the anniversary of the Soviet Army’s defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, (May 9).
Protesters called him a “fascist” before two women got close enough to throw red paint at him. Andreyev was forced to abandon the ceremony and had to return to his car under a police escort.
The incident raised question marks over the security at the ceremony but Piotr Wawrzyk, a deputy foreign minister, defended the police.
“If the Polish security services had not acted the way they did the ambassador would have had an even more unpleasant experience,” he told the TVP Info news channel.
“It was thanks to the police that he was evacuated effectively, and left under a police escort.”
Wawrzyk also said that the ambassador had been advised against attending the ceremony, saying that “we knew that such demonstrative gestures of support for the Russian or Soviet army could evoke such reactions.”
Commenting on the incident, Pawel Mucha, an aide to President Andrzej Duda, said the incident had been driven by “huge emotions”, but criticised the attack on Andreev, saying that it “should never have happened.”