In an incident that may be a first in diplomatic history, Kiev’s top diplomat publicly ‘effed’ the head of another state. Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchitsa chanted “Putin’s a f**ker” with a cheering crowd that earlier vandalized the Russian embassy.
Deshchitsa arrived at the scene of the heated protest – which involved overturning cars belonging to embassy staff, the desecration of a Russian flag and pelting the building with firecrackers and paint – in an apparent attempt to defuse the crowd.
He confronted some of the protesters – or rather sided with them. Footage of the encounter shows the minister saying he is all for the protest and its goals.
“I would stand up here with you can say, Russia, get out of Ukraine,” he said. “Putin’s a f**ker, right!”
This treasure of Kiev-style diplomatic language was met with a joyous cheer among the crowd, which erupted in a concerted chant. The profane phrase comes from a chant of Ukrainian radical football fans and is very popular among anti-Russian-minded Ukrainians at the moment.
The minister looks a bit astounded by the overwhelmingly welcoming response and even sings a bit along with the protesters.
Later on Sunday, the minister turned very elusive, when grilled about the scandalous episode. He justified his actions with a need to protect the Russian embassy.
“People were very angry and we had to stop those people, not to let them go further, not to allow an attack and siege of the embassy,” he told Echo of Moscow radio. “They wanted to burn the embassy down.”
Deshchitsa didn’t explain why he thought that profane chants were better at providing security than a police guard, which Kiev was obliged, but failed, to provide.
The Ukrainian government did not immediately comment on the spectacular work Deshchitsa demonstrated in building diplomatic bridges between Kiev and Moscow in front of the Russian embassy.
No comments followed from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which will probably not be able to find a proper response to such language in its guidebooks.
Cursing at Russian President Vladimir Putin however is not unheard of from the Ukrainian politicians. Oleg Lyashko, a Ukrainian MP who scored the third-best result in last month’s presidential election, chanted the same profane song at a rally amid the election campaign.
Deshchitsa was not the only Ukrainian politician to make controversial moves at the Russian embassy on Saturday to appease the crowd. MP Nikolay Rudkovsky was also at the scene and was practically forced to hurl a stone at the embassy by the protesters, video footage showed.
However, this didn’t convince everybody of the parliamentarian’s patriotism and loyalty to the people of Ukraine. As he was preparing to leave, a masked protester accused him of being a moneybag driving around in a posh car and sprayed his face with green paint, the same that was used on the walls of the embassy.