Following a physical altercation between a Ukrainian and a Russian delegate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, footage of the men’s tussle has since gone viral on social media.
The incident erupted on Thursday, a day ahead of the Russian, Ukrainian, and Turkish officials’ planned meeting in Istanbul to discuss extending the deal for exporting grain and fertiliser through the Black Sea ports. The delegates were attending the meeting of the Black Sea countries, a grouping of 13 countries, in Turkey’s capital, Ankara.
In the video, female Russian delegate Ola Timofeeva can be seen filming a video while Ukrainian delegate Oleksandr Marikovski extends his country’s flag behind her. This evidently enraged an older male Russian delegate, who ripped the flag out of Marikovski’s hands.
Marikovski follows the unidentified man, and a tussle ensues, with the Ukrainian hitting the Russian several times before retrieving his flag. Reports state that those present separating the men pleaded, “Please, no fighting, ” and Marikovski reportedly replied, “It’s our flag. We’re going to fight for this flag.”
Marikovski later shared the video on his Facebook page and wrote: “Paws off our flag, paws off Ukraine, Russian filth!”
There was also a clash between individuals during the seated meeting after Ukrainians once again tried to put the flag on display.
Watch the video below: