During a gathering of Black Sea nations in the Turkish capital on Thursday, a Ukrainian delegate punched a Russian delegate in the face after his Ukrainian flag was snatched away to prevent him from photobombing a video interview with Russia’s lead delegate.
On his Facebook page, Olesandr Marikovski shared a video showing himself hitting the Russian and reclaiming the blue and yellow flag. The event occurred in a hallway of the parliament building, which was hosting the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) conference.
Earlier in the day, some Ukrainian delegates scuffled with security officers who had tried to pull them away as they staged a protest, shouting and holding their flags next to Russia’s lead delegate as she tried to address the assembly.
Pictures of the disturbance were posted by the Turkish parliament on its website, and Mustafa Sentop, the parliament’s head, issued a stiff rebuke.
“I condemn this behavior that disrupts the peaceful environment that Turkey is trying to establish,” he said.
While representatives from the 13 countries in the BSEC met on Thursday, Russian drones continued to attack the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. There are currently no peace talks to end the war, which has devastated Ukrainian towns and cities, killed thousands of people and driven millions from their homes.