Russian officials blast Ukraine FM over Putin curse

Russian officials blast Ukraine FM over Putin curse
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya (left) argues with protesters during a rally against Russian President Vladimir Putin in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev on Saturday.

MOSCOW - Russian officials lashed out at Ukraine's foreign minister Sunday after footage showed him using an expletive to describe Russian President Vladimir Putin as he sought to calm angry demonstrators attacking the Russian embassy in Kiev.

Andriy Deshchytsya was filmed by local television being cheered by protesters after telling them "Putin is a pr**k" in a bid to stop the crowd storming Russia's diplomatic mission Saturday.

Angry demonstrators smashed the building's windows and overturned diplomatic cars as police looked on after 49 Ukrainian servicemen were killed when their plane was shot down in the rebellion-hit east by pro-Russian insurgents who Ukraine accuses Moscow of arming.

Russia condemned the lack of a police response as "a grave violation of Ukraine's international obligations" and officials on Sunday called for president Petro Poroshenko to ditch Deshchytsya over the insult.

"Poroshenko needs to replace his foreign minister. He can't control himself," lower house of parliament's foreign affairs committee chief Alexei Pushkov tweeted.

Deshchytsya sidestepped the issue Sunday, telling Russian radio station Moscow Echo only that he had gone to the scene to tell protesters they should "express their opinions in a peaceful manner." The insult directed at Kremlin strongman Putin has become something of a catchphrase for pro-Kiev Ukrainians after it was chanted by thousands of local football fans at a match.

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