- Russian representative repeatedly punched and kicked by Ukrainian lawmaker after grabbing Ukrainian flag at Turkish event
A brawl broke out on Thursday at the Parliamentary Assembly for Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) in the Turkish capital Ankara after a Ukrainian representative punched his Russian colleague.
In a video posted on social media, the Russian representative ran up to the Ukrainian representative, waved his country’s flag and made a statement before grabbing the flag, sparking a brief scuffle. The Ukrainian punched the Russian in the face several times before the melee was stopped.
Russian embassy representative Irina Kasimova told TASS that the Russian representative was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
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“A member of the Russian delegation was attacked by a member of the Ukrainian delegation. The hospital where our employee is currently being examined; he also received consular assistance,”
she said. The embassy said it would “appropriately draw the attention of the Turkish authorities to this cruel incident.”
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Reuters reported that the incident occurred at the 61st PABSEC Congress.
Olesandrs Marikovskis posted a video on his Facebook page showing him beating the Russians and retrieving the blue-yellow flag.
Acting head of Russia’s permanent delegation to the PABSEC Olga Timofeyeva, who is also taking part in the Ankara meeting, filmed how the incident started and showed the tense atmosphere at the hotel to a Russian TV host.
Earlier on Thursday, members of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) tried to disrupt the Russian delegation’s address at the PABSEC meeting, spreading out Ukraine’s flag and a black-red-blue tricolour behind the delegation’s members.
The Turkish parliament posted images of the riots on its website, and its president, Mustafa Sentop, issued a strong condemnation.
“I condemn this undermining of the peaceful environment that Turkey is trying to create,” he said.