Man arrested after driving truck through Russian embassy gate
Police in Dublin, Ireland, have arrested a man who backed a truck through the front gate of the Russian embassy. The man reportedly told onlookers that he had “done his bit” to protest Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine.
Video footage shared on social media on Monday showed the driver backing through the embassy’s gate as one onlooker cheered. According to a report in the Irish Times, the driver exited the vehicle afterwards, handed out anti-Russian leaflets, and told passersby: “I’ve done my bit lads. It’s about time the rest of Ireland done their bit.”
The man reportedly said that he wants the Russian ambassador, Yury Filatov, to “leave this country.”
The driver was then arrested, and police said they are investigating the incident as “criminal damage.”
A large truck has crashed through the gates of the Russian embassy in south Dublin. One man has been arrested. pic.twitter.com/35yLDfGhEd— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 7, 2022
The embassy, located on the southside of the Irish capital, has been the scene of repeated protests since the Russian offensive in Ukraine began last month. Staff there have reported several incidents of vandalism, including red paint being thrown onto the building’s entrance and messages such as “f**k Russia” being daubed outside.
Filatov has claimed that Ireland is at the forefront of “anti-Russian events” in the EU, and has accused the Irish media of bias in its coverage of the ongoing conflict. The Irish public, he told Russian media, has become hostile toward “Russia and everything Russian.”
The Irish government has condemned Russia over the conflict and has supported EU sanctions on Moscow. Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin has publicly questioned Ireland’s long-standing neutrality since the outbreak of hostilities, saying that he supports the EU’s shipments of arms to Ukraine.
“We are not neutral in respect of what’s happening in Ukraine,” he said on Friday, adding that the government would “reflect” on the future of Irish neutrality.