In viral video, Ukrainian MP punches Russian representative at Turkey summit
A video has surfaced in which Oleksandr Marikovskyi can be seen punching an unidentified Russian representative.
Amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, a video has surfaced on social media in which a Ukrainian MP, Oleksandr Marikovskyi, can be purportedly seen punching an unidentified Russian representative who snagged the Ukrainian flag from his hands during a conference in Turkey's capital Ankara.
The incident reportedly took place on Thursday during the 61st General Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) where countries of the Black Sea region gathered to discuss ways to develop multilateral and bilateral ties on the economic, technological, and social fronts, Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu Agency reported.
The clip, posted by Jason Jay Smart, a special correspondent for the Kyiv Post on Twitter, and a political adviser, posted the video on Twitter, has gained more than 3 million views as of Friday morning.
Marikovskyi also posted the clip on his Facebook account. Newsweek also reported on the incident, citing Marikovskyi's post.
"He really deserved that punch. Delegate from #Russia sparks scuffle at Black Sea Economic Community event in #Ankara, #Turkey, after forcibly taking the flag of #Ukraine from MP Marikovskyi's hands," tweeted advocate Ibrahim Zeidan.
During the summit, the video of the unnamed Russian representative can be seen approaching Marikovskyi, who was holding his country's flag. The Russian delegate forcibly took the flag from Marikovskyi's hands, but Marikovskyi retaliated by pushing and punching the representative in the face to reclaim the flag.
The incident highlights the heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which have been exacerbated by Russian President Vladimir Putin's ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The conflict, which began in February of last year, has now spread to major cities such as Kyiv, Kherson, Odesa, and Bakhmut.
Russia blames US for masterminding Kremlin drone attack
Moscow on Thursday accused the US of masterminding a drone attack on the Kremlin, a charge denied by Washington, and said Ukrainian sabotage on Russian territory had reached “unprecedented momentum”.
Moscow said Putin was working from the Kremlin the day after the attack, which it said was a Ukrainian attempt to kill him. "Decisions on such attacks are not made in Kyiv, but in Washington," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Ukraine has denied responsibility, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying "We do not attack Moscow or Putin."
The United States has also denied any involvement.
(With inputs from agencies)