May 5, 2023 | 6:56 am
A Ukrainian representative punched a Russian representative in the face during a meeting of Black Sea nations in the Turkish capital on Thursday, after his Ukrainian flag was taken away to prevent him from photobombing a video interview with Russia’s top representative.
Olesandr Marikovsky posted a video on his Facebook page of himself beating the Russian and retrieving the blue and yellow flag.
The incident took place in the hallway of the parliament building where the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PSEC) was meeting.
Earlier in the day, some Ukrainian delegates scuffled with security officers who tried to pull them away as they rallied, holding their flags near Russia’s lead representative as they tried to address the assembly.
Images of the chaos were posted by the Turkish parliament on its website, and parliament speaker Mustafa Sentop issued a strong condemnation.
“I condemn this behavior that disrupts the peaceful environment that Turkey is trying to establish,” he said.
As representatives of the 13 countries in the BSEC met on Thursday, Russian drones continued to attack the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
There are currently no peace talks to end the war that has devastated Ukrainian towns and cities, killed thousands of people and driven millions from their homes.