Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A Ukrainian refugee who soaked a Russian ambassador in red borscht fled Warsaw after receiving “thousands” of threats to kill, rape and maim her.
Iryna Zemlyana – who fled bombs in Ukraine – escaped from the Polish capital under police protection after Russian online trolls vowed to track her down.
Iryna became the focus of Russian fury when she threw beetroot borscht at the country’s Polish ambassador Sergei Andreev at a Victory Day ceremony at the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw on 9th May.
The red soup was intended to symbolise Ukrainian blood spilt in the Russian invasion of her homeland.
Now Iryna has been forced to flee again after receiving terrifying threats to maim, rape and kill her.
She wrote online on Monday, 16th May: “I’m getting thousands of threatening messages. I have never seen such a massive attack in my life.
“A few hours after the pile-on, all my data, including my passport number, address in Ukraine, telephone number, email address and social media accounts, were posted on Russian Telegram channels calling for my elimination.
“I was also added to the Russian database of ‘war criminals’, where there is a list of our military. (I’m actually honoured to be alongside such heroes.)”
She said some of the trolls are “threatening to kill me, maim me, rape me, etc., along with a bunch of images”.
Iryna says her phone rings every few minutes from unknown numbers and her mailbox is full of spam.
She said: “Twenty-five thousand bots signed up to Instagram in just a couple of hours.”
The threats led Iryna to call the police, and officers promptly escorted her from the Polish capital after they had reason to believe the threats were serious.
She wrote: “I never thought I would have to run away twice.”
On 9th May, Russia widely commemorates its victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
For this reason, Russian embassy representatives went to the Soviet Military Cemetery on that day to lay a wreath.
There they were welcomed by crowds waving Ukrainian and Polish flags and shouting “fascists”, “murderers” and “f*ck Putin”.
Andreev and his colleagues were doused in borscht and forced to return to their vehicle.
The 47-acre Soviet Military Cemetery, inaugurated in 1950, is the burial place of over 21,000 Soviet soldiers who died fighting against Nazi Germany.