Poland's president appealed Thursday to Russian President Vladimir Putin to track down the men who attacked two Polish diplomats and a journalist in Moscow in recent days, saying the violence was "leading to a harmful escalation of hostility."
President Aleksander Kwasniewski's appeal came in a written statement released to the Polish media late Thursday. Earlier in the day, a Polish journalist for the leading Rzeczpospolita newspaper was beaten in Moscow, while two diplomats with the Polish Embassy in Moscow were attacked in separate incidents earlier in the week.
The incidents follow the July 31 mugging of three sons of Russian diplomats in a Warsaw park, during which the boys' cell phones were stolen.
Putin's government demanded an apology. The Polish Foreign Ministry expressed "deep regret," but said it owed no apology for what it said was a criminal act.
The incidents also come amid rising tensions between Poland and Belarus, whose autocratic President Alexander Lukashenko enjoys Putin's backing.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.