A few hundred Ukrainian protesters rallying at the Russian embassy in Kiev have overturned several diplomatic cars and piled up tires to block entry into the building. They have also and thrown stones, smoke grenades, eggs, and paint at the premises.
Police stood idly by as the anti-Moscow crowd blockaded the site, expressing its anger over the Russian government’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.
The protesters have thrown a Molotov cocktail at the embassy, causing a minor fire which has been extinguished. As of midnight local time, the situation had calmed down. However, protesters still remain at the site.
The demonstrators also broke pavement and hurled rocks at the embassy’s windows, ITAR-TASS reports.
The situation became even more tense as dozens of masked and camouflaged radicals of the Maidan self-defense troops, the Right Sector, and the nationalist Svoboda party joined the protest in the evening. Rocks, smoke grenades, and some explosives were thrown at the embassy from over the fence.
Press-attaché of the Russian diplomatic mission to Ukraine, Oleg Grishin, confirmed to RT that the overturned vehicles belong to embassy staff. Police have attempted to talk to protesters, but refrained from detaining any of them, he said.
“Security is provided by the Ukrainian side. They do not prevent the damage being caused to property of the Russian diplomatic mission and to the facade [of the building],” Grishin told RT over the phone.
The embassy has been effectively blocked by protesters’ cars placed at the entrance, as well as by heaps of tires, Grishin said.
Footage from the scene then showed protesters upturning several diplomatic cars parked in front of the embassy. The vehicles also had their number plates ripped off and were covered by graffiti. Someone drew several swastikas in the colors of the Ukrainian flag on one of the cars.
The Russian flag flying on a post in the embassy was hooked and dragged down by protesters over the fence. A flag of the nationalist Ukrainian Insurgent Army was then hung at the embassy’s gates.