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Opposition to blame for Russian embassy attack in Warsaw, claims government

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 13.11.2013 09:33
The Polish government has blamed "anti-Russian hysteria" drummed up by an opposition party for the attack on the Russian Embassy in Warsaw during a nationalist Independence Day march.

March by All-Polish Youth and ORN far-right groups turns violent during Independence Day march: photo - PAP/Pawel Supernak

"Law and Justice (PiS) is responsible for an atmosphere of anti-Russian hysteria in Poland, "government spokesman Pawel Gras has said.

The grounds of the Russian Embassy in Warsaw were pelted with rocks and firecrackers, with a policeman's cabin set on fire, on Sunday evening during a nationalist march commemorating Poland's Independence Day.

Over 70 marchers were detained following the incident and subsequent clashes with police, who used tear gas and rubber bullets to control of the crowd.

The conservative Law and Justice party has blamed Polish and Russian governments for the death of President Lech Kaczynski, who died in the Smolensk air disaster in April 2010, claiming that the head of state and twin brother of PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski was assassinated.

Official Russian and Polish reports found that the plane crash in western Russia was due to human error.

Moscow has made an official complaint about the attack on its embassy and critics have said that the building was not defended well enough when the march passed by the building.

Police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski said that large numbers of officers were deliberately not stationed there, for fear of being overly provocative towards nationalist demonstrators.

“The decision on not stationing a unit on Belewederska Street [by the Russian embassy] was tactical,” he said, as quoted by the Dziennik Polski daily.

Sokolowski insisted that “we were always in the area and were able to act swiftly when it was needed.”

Rainbow monument burnt during march: photo - PASP/Jacek Turczyk

The rioting also caused damage to the 'pro-tolerance' Rainbow art installation, which was burn to the ground, and several cars were damaged.

Five police were hurt during the disturbances.


The first two convictions were made on Tuesday in connection with the disorder that accompanied a far-right march on Independence Day in Warsaw.

One defendant was given community service for assaulting a police officer, and the second was fined for insulting a policeman.

Agnieszka Domanska, spokesperson for the District Court in Warsaw, confirmed that three more offenders are due to sentenced on Wednesday.

City authorities have estimated the damage to property at 120,000 zloty (30,000 euro). (pg/nh)

Source: PAP/IAR

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