The recent events surrounding the Russian presence in East Ukraine has drummed up a great deal of patriotic fervour amongst the ranks of the Muscovites. These passions are so strong that BBC reports, occasionally, Russian citizens themselves have become the target of assault.
A Russian reporter, Anna Ratafyeva, was minding her own business on the local tube system when an older woman approached her and slapped her in the face. Apparently this act of aggression was motivated by the fact that Ratafyeva was sporting a t-shirt with the popular cartoon character Snoopy on it waving the British flag.
These attacks are not just physical: they often come with some pretty harsh verbal abuse, too. Ms. Ratafyeva posted the following on Facebook: “(The woman) approached me, called me ‘an American whore’ and slapped me in the face. Welcome to the new reality.”
The reality she is referring to is the one which bans imports from Western countries including Canada, which is interpreted as revenge for sanctions placed upon Russia by those countries.
She stopped for a refreshing drink of water when a member of the crowd leapt out and attacked her, yelling “You bastard! Go back to your country. You dishonour my city, and have no right to run in our marathon.”
Ms Boyarskaya maintained that she meant nothing by wearing the t-shirt, and the attack badly shocked her. She said that the attacker “has [the] right to have her opinion, and the only thing I can do is regret that there is such an opinion.”