Attacks on Russian embassy in Ukraine: Moscow accuses US and allies of hypocrisy

Russia has accused the United States and its Western allies of “hypocrisy” for refusing to condemn two violent attacks on the Russian embassy in Ukraine. “In our case, we see no reaction from our Western colleagues… And hypocrisy and duplicity is there, indeed,” Sergei Lavrov told Russian channel Ren TV on Thursday. On Wednesday, the Russian embassy in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, came under attack by angry protesters, who threw stones, smoke pellets, eggs and iodine bottles at the building. It was not the first such attack on the Russian embassy. A similar incident last Sunday had turned even more violent as a group of people torched the embassy’s cars overnight, ripped the flags off and threw smoke bombs at the premises. Neither acts of violence, however, drew criticism from the US and its allies. Lavrov said, “We see no reaction whatsoever from the so-called international community,” to condemn “the actions of those thugs.” The Russian diplomat said he will raise the issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry. He said Moscow has always been quick to condemn any act of violence against diplomatic perimeters. “Relevant messages have been sent, of course, to European capitals,” he added. 

The mob in Ukraine demanded the release of Nadiya Savchenko, a 34-year-old Ukrainian pilot who is on trial in Russia. Moscow says Savchenko was responsible for directing artillery fore in a 2014 attack that claimed the lives of two Russian journalists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk. Kiev denies the allegations, saying she was kidnapped by pro-Russia forces. Savchenko started a hunger strike on Thursday, rejecting both food and water, to protest delays in her trial. Relations between Moscow and Kiev have been strained since Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014. Ties soured further after Ukraine launched military operations in April 2014 to silence pro-Russia forces in the country’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. A cease-fire deal was reached in early 2015 has been shakily in place. Kiev and its Western allies claim Moscow is fueling the crisis , which has so far killed some 9,000 people. Russia, however, denies the allegations.

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