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Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev

Russian envoy to Poland splattered with red liquid on Victory

The Russian ambassador to Poland was splattered with a red substance by pro-Ukraine activists in Warsaw on Monday when he tried to lay a wreath to mark Victory Day.

Victory Day is celebrated annually on May 9 to commemorate the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. This year's events are taking place as Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine enters its third month.

Chanting "fascists" and brandishing the national flag, pro-Ukraine activists blocked the ambassador's way as he walked toward the mausoleum, preventing him from laying his wreath, according to an AFP photographer at the scene.

Several individuals then threw a red substance on his face and clothes, and also splattered some of the men in his entourage.

After wiping his face with his hand, Andreev said "I am proud of my country and my president".

Andreev told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that he was not seriously harmed in the attack, adding that the red substance was some sort of syrup.

The Russian embassy had planned to hold an official ceremony at the site but cancelled after a negative response from Warsaw's mayor and the foreign ministry.

But Andreev still showed up with his wreath, as did individual Russians throughout the morning, while pro-Ukrainian protesters held up a big sign that said "criminals" and displayed photos of the war-torn country.

Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said after the incident that "Polish authorities did not recommend that the Russian ambassador lay flowers on May 9 in Warsaw".

Russia's foreign ministry said it had protested to Polish officials "their indulgence of young neo-Nazis".

Poland has accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Ukraine since Moscow sent troops into the country on February 24.