Man launches paint at Russian embassy, police say

The embassy’s walls were covered in chalk-written messages, Ukrainian flags, eggs and fake blood.

26 February 2022

Police have said a man launched paint at the Russian embassy in London as Ukrainian protests took place outside the building.

Hundreds gathered outside the embassy in Kensington and at Downing Street on Saturday afternoon to call for Vladimir Putin to withdraw from Ukraine.

Waving flags, banners and placards, the protesters sang the Ukrainian anthem and chanted “Putin stop war”, Putin go home” and “free Ukraine”.

The embassy’s walls were covered in chalk-written messages, Ukrainian flags, eggs and fake blood.

Even the building itself appeared to have egg stains and cracked shells on it.

A man also rode past on a bike and threw paint at the wall at just after 3:30pm.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Inquiries are ongoing and no arrests have been made.

“The incident was not connected to a protest that was taking place outside the building at the same time.”

Dozens were there wearing flags tied around their necks and holding flowers.

Protesters encouraged motorists to beep their horns in support, while a woman could be seen pressing the building’s intercom.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
People take part in a demonstration outside the Russian Embassy (Ian West/PA)

A protester, named Viktor Shevik, 52, told the PA news agency: “I’m disgusted with the actions of this dictator, this bully, this embassy needs to hear our message.”

Mr Shevik, who has lived in west London for 16 years after moving from Kyiv, added: “I worry for my people, we are brave people but Russia is a big country and it is raining bombs on children.

“I hope the soldiers and people of Russia understand they do not need to fight for this maniac.”

Helena Kovalenko, 33, originally from northern Ukraine, said: “I’m so angry with Putin for invading my Ukraine.

“I have family there, my mum and dad, and I’m so scared for them.”

Ms Kovalenko, who has lived in the UK for nine years, added: “I’m here today to call for this country to help – Putin has to go.”

Another protester originally from the country, named Andriy, 27, said he was there to call for other countries to “do more”.

He said: “The world can’t watch as my people suffer- Putin is a Barbarian, he’s an animal.

“If sanctions don’t stop him, the UK, the US and Europe must be prepared to do everything.”

Russian invasion of Ukraine
People use chalk to draw the Ukrainian flag on the wall of the Russian Embassy (Ted Hennessey/PA)

The crowd, which blocked a path outside the embassy, shouted “down with Putin” and held posters comparing the Russian leader to Hitler.

Some had tears in their eyes, while others were visibly angry as dozens of police officers watched on.

One man who had been chanting and moving among the crowd was stopped briefly by officers.

Another protester said he was there to “stand in solidarity” with Ukraine.

A banner, held above the crowd, had “stop bombing my family” written on it.

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