At Embassy, an Act of 'Anti-Russian Hysteria'

Man dies crashing his car into Russian embassy in Bucharest, Romania
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2022 8:32 AM CDT
Man Crashes Car Into Russian Embassy—Fatally
A car that crashed into the gates of the Russian Embassy is lifted onto a platform in Bucharest, Romania, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Alexandru Dobre)

A man has died after crashing a car filled with flammable substances into the Russian embassy in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, according to police. A video showed the silver hatchback "engulfed in flames" while wedged in the embassy's gate around 6am local time Wednesday, before firefighters arrived, the AP reports. The case prosecutor on the scene told reporters that the vehicle held several containers of flammable substances. Authorities said they were able to put out the flames but the driver, whose identity has not been released, died at the scene.

The vehicle did not enter the compound itself and the embassy confirmed no employees were injured. It also offered condolences to the driver's family, saying "there is no doubt that he committed this act under the influence of an explosion of anti-Russian hysteria" tied to the dead and apparently tortured bodies of civilians discovered in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, Ukraine, after Russian forces pulled back. The embassy referred to this as "a staged provocation," though there is evidence to the contrary. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described a "war crime" in Bucha during an address to Romania's parliament on Monday.

A day later, Romania announced it would expel 10 Russian diplomats for violating international rules, as many other European countries have done recently, per Reuters. Russia's ambassador to Romania, Valery Kuzmin, noted the embassy has "repeatedly" received threats by email in an interview with Russian state news agency Tass. "The atmosphere that has been gradually forming here is very tense," he said, per the AP. Some 624,860 Ukrainians have fled to neighboring Romania since Russia invaded their country on Feb. 24, with about 80,000 of those remaining in Romania, per Reuters. (More Bucharest stories.)

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