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The Financial Express

Russian envoy says barber in Poland refuses to cut his hair

| Updated: May 12, 2022 15:04:10


Russia's ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev is covered in red substance thrown by protesters in Warsaw on Monday as he came to celebrate Victory day at the Soviet Military Cemetery to mark the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany –Reuters file photo Russia's ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev is covered in red substance thrown by protesters in Warsaw on Monday as he came to celebrate Victory day at the Soviet Military Cemetery to mark the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany –Reuters file photo

Russian diplomat Sergiy Andreev was feeling unwelcome on the streets of Warsaw even before protesters doused him with red liquid thrown in his face at short range this week.

Soon after beginning of Russia-Ukraine war on Feb 24, Andreev, who is Moscow's ambassador to Poland, found the embassy bank accounts had been frozen. Attempts to meet with Polish officials for any level of diplomatic discussion were impossible, he said.

His regular barber refused to cut his hair. Insurance companies denied coverage for embassy cars, Andreev said.

"We are practically isolated," he told Reuters, before the paint incident on Monday, reports Reuters.

Across Europe's capitals, Russian diplomats are getting the cold shoulder, ranging from diplomatic expulsions by governments, to protests by individual citizens, and service denials by companies.

European Union governments have expelled at least 400 Russian diplomats and support staff. Warsaw has seized a building linked to the Russian embassy, and Oslo renamed a street in front of the Russian mission "Ukraine Square."

Russia's 10-week bombardment of Ukraine has killed thousands, driven over a quarter of the population from their homes and flattened towns. Europeans widely see it as unprovoked aggression by President Vladimir Putin, who says what he calls a special military operation was launched to defend Russia.

Western nations have responded by arming Ukraine's military and imposing sweeping sanctions on Russia's elites and financial system.

The diplomats' tribulations are not comparable to the destruction of the war or the broader Western response, but they are a conspicuous example of the depth of feeling against the invasion, and have hit home in Moscow.

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