A man in his 30s has been arrested by the Gardai after the Russian embassy was covered in red paint during a protest in Dublin condemning the invasion of Ukraine.
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning after Russian President Vladimir Putin assured the world last week that they had entered eastern Ukraine as part of a a “peacekeeping” mission.
In Dublin, demonstrators gathered outside the Russian embassy to protest against the attacks, which have already killed more than 40 Ukrainian soldiers and a dozen civilians.
Demonstrators covered the door of the Russian Embassy with red paint in protest on a gloomy day for the whole world.
Gardai confirmed in a statement to Extra.ie that a man in his 30s was arrested for criminal damage during the protest.
The statement read: “Gardaí have arrested a man aged in his 30s in connection with an incident of criminal damage which occurred this morning, 24th February 2022, at premises in Orwell Road, Dublin 14.
“The man is currently being held at Rathfarnham Garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.”
The protest brought together Ukrainians living in Ireland, Irish citizens and a number of Russian nationalists angry at the attacks.
Signs were held outside the building reading “Support Ukraine” and “Putin out of Ukraine” by protesters who gathered around 9 a.m. Thursday morning after the news emerged.
In a statement on the attacks, the Russian Embassy claimed that the Russian operations were “aimed at stopping the bloodshed inflicted by the Ukrainian army on the people of Donbass”.
“There is no objective to occupy Ukraine. The Russian armed forces do not carry out any missile, air or artillery strikes against the population of Cillian towards the cities of Ukraine.
“The decision to carry out the operation is not to harm the interests of Ukraine or the Ukrainian people, but rather to defend our country against those who took Ukraine hostage and tried to use it against the Russia and our people,” the statement said. .
Taoiseach Micheal Martin blasted the invasion and said Putin “will be held accountable” for the unfolding events.
“Our thoughts are with the innocent people of Ukraine at this most difficult hour. The use of brute force in pursuit of a warped goal is an affront. There are implications for global security and the economy. This Russian attack will cause untold hardship to Ukraine and Ireland will support them with humanitarian support.
“We are in contact with Irish people in Ukraine and our embassy staff are in a safe place. These sanctions must be comprehensive and the toughest we have ever introduced and cannot be graduated,” he said.
The Foreign Secretary and Justice Minister are working together to start the process of waiving visa requirements for all Ukrainian citizens entering Ireland as the world waits to see what happens next.