Ukrainian, Russian Delegates Scuffle at Turkey Summit

'Paws off Ukraine!' one delegate said after attacking Russian delegate who snatched his flag
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2023 10:32 AM CDT
Ukrainian, Russian Delegates Scuffle at Turkey Summit
Screenshot of the skirmish.   (YouTube/Telegraph)

A summit of Black Sea nations took place this week in the Turkish capital of Ankara, a few hundred miles away from Ukraine, but the distance didn't stop tensions from the Russian invasion there from bubbling over into the hallways of Turkey's parliament building. The AP reports that Russian delegate Ola Timofeeva was recording herself on her phone Thursday, with Oleksandr Marikovski, a member of Ukraine's parliament also attending the assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, standing behind her. In his hands during the apparent photobomb was a Ukrainian flag—though not for long.

A video taken at the scene shows another man, identified as a Russian official, walk over to Marikovski, snatch the Ukrainian flag out of his hands, and start to walk away. He doesn't get far, however, as Marikovski runs after him and starts attacking him, trying to land punches before eventually snatching his flag back. Others rush in to separate the two men, with one man pleading with Marikovski, "Please, no fighting." Marikovski's indignant reply: "It's our flag. We're going to fight for this flag."

"Paws off our flag, paws off Ukraine, Russian bastard!" Marikovski wrote on Facebook after the scuffle, sharing the clip with his followers. Many of the comments under his post, which received 74,000 likes, thanked Marikovski for his actions and declared, "Glory to Ukraine!" Reuters reports that earlier Thursday, Russia's Timofeeva saw one of her speeches interrupted by Ukrainian delegates, who shouted in protest while holding Ukrainian flags and ended up in an altercation with security personnel. "I condemn this behavior that disrupts the peaceful environment that Turkey is trying to establish," Mustafa Sentop, the head of Turkey's parliament, said in a stern rebuke after the incidents. (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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