Russian war symbols were seen among the thousands of protestors gathered in Prague to protest war and poverty on Saturday, with some attempting to tear down the Ukrainian flag that has been hanging outside the National Museum over the past year.
Besides displaying Russian war symbols, some protestors held banners stating, “STOP the war, STOP NATO”.
“I expect the organisers to distance themselves from these acts of violence. It gives the impression that the entire so-called demonstration against poverty was just a cover for pro-Russian provocation, and we certainly cannot be tolerant of such manifestations,” Rakušan told Czech Television on Sunday.
The protests resulted in the arrest of 18 people involved in the attempt to tear down the Ukrainian flag at the museum, said a Czech Police spokeswoman who added that two police officers tasked with guarding the entrance to the museum were injured.
Police also arrested a man who wore a Russian Wagner group patch and the Z symbol on his backpack and jacket on suspicion of public denial, questioning, and approval of genocide.
The protest’s organisers also announced they are planning a blockade of government buildings on 16 April. Interior Minister Vit Rakušan said the state must prepare for such a scenario and secure the buildings