Bulgarian politician vandalizes Russian embassy
A Bulgarian election candidate splashed red paint over a sign plate at the Russian embassy in the nation’s capital on Thursday to protest Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.
In a video posted on Facebook, Ivan Kalchev, who is a member of the Democratic Bulgaria party, approaches the gates of the Russian embassy in Sofia with a bucket of red paint and spills it all over the sign plate.
In an apparent attempt to justify the vandalism, the politician said that he wanted to “honor the memory of the victims of the Ukraine war.” The gesture was also meant to pay respects to “all those innocent Russians who will be used as cannon fodder,” he added.
During the incident, a policewoman outside the embassy approached Kalchev, apparently in an attempt to stop him, but without success. The footage shows her making a phone call, but the politician was not apprehended in the video.
Kalchev also called for more weapons deliveries to Kiev. “Let’s give Ukraine our old military systems, old artillery and armor that is getting rusty in warehouses,” he said, adding that Ukraine would be able to prevail over Russia regardless of Western help but that such assistance would show that Bulgaria is “a part of modern, civilized European world” and not that of “dictator Putin.”
According to earlier media reports, Kalchev had taken part in the conflict on Kiev’s side, having traveled to Ukraine in early March to join the ‘foreign legion.’
Since Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine begun in late February, Russian institutions abroad have been repeatedly vandalized. In early March, activists threw blue and yellow paint – the colors of the Ukrainian flag – at the door of the Russian Community Centre in Vancouver, Canada.
A day later, a man rammed a truck through the front gate of the Russian embassy in Dublin, Ireland. Before being arrested, the driver reportedly handed out anti-Russian leaflets and told onlookers that he had “done his bit” to protest Russia’s actions.