Ukraine supporter attacks Dutch MP (VIDEO)
The leader of the right-wing Dutch party Forum for Democracy (FVD), Thierry Baudet, has been attacked in Belgium by a man who shouted anti-Putin slogans in Ukrainian. The MP had previously spoken out against Western military support for Kiev.
The attack was caught on video, in which the FVD leader can be seen entering a university building in the Belgian city of Ghent where he was set to give a lecture. As he made his way up the stairs, a man in a black hoodie and baseball cap lashed out at the politician, striking him with some kind of object. Dutch news outlets, including the Netherlands Broadcasting Corporation (NOS), say Baudet was hit with an umbrella.
Security services immediately tackled the assailant to the ground, where he is heard repeatedly shouting “no to fascism, no to Putinism” in Ukrainian. The attacker was later detained by police.
It was reported that Baudet did not suffer any injuries in the attack and proceeded to give the scheduled lecture. He told NPO Radio 1 that the attack left him with a “significant bump” on the head.
Nederlands politicus @thierrybaudet aangevallen nav toespraak aan @ugent… Politie staat erbij en kijkt ernaar. Hoe dikwijls hebben we dit al meegemaakt? Na #IS-aanslag weeral blamage voor onze veiligheidsdiensten. Rechtse politici zijn opgejaagd wild… pic.twitter.com/6MbJaTWKj5— Filip Dewinter (@FDW_VB) October 26, 2023
“I was able to give my lecture after having a glass of water. But it is of course very unfortunate that this happened,” Baudet said.
The incident has drawn condemnation from Dutch politicians across the political spectrum. Frans Timmermans – a Socialist-Green politician running in the upcoming Dutch election – said in an X post that the attack was “completely unacceptable,” and stressed that “violence should never be tolerated” and “free speech must be protected and the perpetrator prosecuted.”
Outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also stated on social media that what happened to Baudet was “unacceptable.”
“You fight the ideas of politicians that you disagree with words and never, ever, with violence,” he said.
Baudet has been accused of being “pro-Russian” over his opposition to sending military aid to Kiev and stating that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was the result of the West’s “tunnel vision.”
He has also expressed doubt over the conclusions of the Joint Inquiry Commission investigation into the downing of the Malaysian Boeing MH17 airliner, which claimed that the plane was shot down by a Russian Buk surface-to-air missile.
Baudet has insisted that Ukraine was to blame for the incident. Russia has also repeatedly denied responsibility for the downing of the MH17, noting that Ukraine possessed the same type of system used to shoot down the airliner.