Friday, August 05, 2005

Russian Teenagers Attacked by Skinheads in Warsaw
The Russian Embassy in Poland has sent a letter of protest to the Polish Foreign Ministry after a group of Polish nationals beat up children of Russian diplomats in Warsaw on Sunday night, July 31.

Three Russian teenagers and a Kazakh schoolboy were returning from a movie when the assailants attacked them in a park. According to witnesses, the attackers included about 15 people, aged 19-25. They reportedly shouted anti-Russian obscenities.

Witnesses said that the assailants appeared to be an organized group of skinheads in jogging suits. After some beating, the attackers checked the teenagers' documents and proceeded with the beating "with increasing cruelty." The victims retreated to a bus stop, where the beating continued. The group stole mobile phones and money and tore chains from the teenagers' necks. After the beating, the assailants left the scene on a bus waiting for them. Warsaw police was notified of the attack and managed to apprehend two suspects.

An investigation into the incident has been launched, police spokesman said, but added that a drunken crowd of hooligans could have attacked and robbed anyone, not just Russians.

During medical examinations, doctors found numerous bruises and scratches on the victims. The teenagers had some of their teeth knocked out, one boy had a broken nose and doctors suspected one had concussion. There were no internal injuries and the victims declined a hospital stay.

"The diplomats' reaction will be tough," Vladimir Sedykh, Russia's charge d'affaires in Poland, said. On Monday, August 1, Poland's ambassador to Russia was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry to discuss the incident.

Vladimir Yefremov, Russia's consul in Warsaw, said this was not the first time when Russian citizens were attacked in Poland. Such attacks are not simply isolated incidents, he said.