KIEV, March 9. /TASS/. The participants in the anti-Russian protests have ripped off the Russian flag from the building of the Russian Consulate General in Lviv, trampled it underfoot and then tried to burn it. The report of the incident was shown by the NewsOne local TV channel. Among the protesters was Verkhovna Rada member Vladimir Parasyuk who said there was no place for Russia’s Consulate General in Lviv.
Russian Consul General Oleg Astakhov told TASS that Parasyuk had staged a deliberate provocation.
"He asked to allow him to enter the territory of the consulate so that he could hand over a petition," Astakhov said. "He was allowed to enter, two diplomats went to meet him. In the end, he did not hand anything over but demanded to remove the Russian flag. Of course, he was refused."
"The deputy went to the flagpole and ripped off the flag," the diplomat went on to say. "At the same time, around 15 people were trying to break through to the territory of the consulate. The guards did not allow this to happen. (Protesters) then threw eggs and petards," he added.
Astakhov said the building of the consulate general is under increased protection of local police. The diplomat said that around 250 people took part in the anti-Russian demonstration.
When this information appeared in the media, Parasyuk tried to dissociate himself from the incident with the Russian flag. He told Ukraine’s 112 TV channel that he indeed entered the territory of the diplomatic mission where he was met by a diplomat whom he asked to remove the flag but was refused.
"After that I ripped off the flag myself and handed it over to the protesters. I have no idea of what they did with it later," Parasyuk said.
However, it can be clearly seen in a TV report that he trampled the flag underfoot, and then the protesters tried to burn it.
The Russian Embassy in Kiev was also attacked earlier today. Unidentified people threw bottles with iodine at the building. The attacks were timed to coincide with the completion of the trial of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko in Russia.