Russian President Vladimir Putin’s allies are demanding Ukraine fire Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia after he called Putin a “dickhead” in a protest at the Russian embassy in Kiev.
“We must fulfill our international obligations, including defending the right of Russia to have an embassy in Ukraine,” he said. “Did I say that I am against you protesting? I am for you protesting. I am ready to be here with you and say ‘Russia, get out of Ukraine’.”
“Yes, Putin is a dickhead, yes,” he declared.
Deschytsia did not apologize or retract his statement.
“I have told you what I want to say. You asked for my comments (on the rally), I’ve made my comments,” he said after the protest.
On Saturday, people protested outside of the embassy. People threw eggs, overturned cars and spray painted swastikas on them, tore down the Russian flag, and threw rocks through the windows. The United States and European Union condemned the rally, but Putin’s followers want more action.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out at French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius over the incident and Alexei Pushkov, head of the Russian lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, said Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko should replace Deshchytsia. Leonif Kalashnikov, who is on Pushkov’s committee, does not want anything to do with Deshchytsia.
“I can’t really imagine how anyone, especially a Russian representative, can sit down at the negotiating table with him after such an outburst,” he told a radio station.
The people protested Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine that started when parliament ousted Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia and state owned gas company Gazprom immediately used Ukraine’s gas supply as a political tool to keep influence over Kiev. Then Moscow invaded and eventually annexed the Black Sea peninsula Crimea from Ukraine, which even upset Yanukovych. Putin placed almost 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s border and told NATO at least three times he would move back the troops, but it never happened.
Last week, Lavrov admitted Russia sends “humanitarian” aid to the pro-Russians responsible for causing death and destruction in east Ukraine. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said Russia sent tanks into Ukraine and NATO finally released satellite pictures that confirm the movement.