London

Hundreds of fake limbs dumped outside Russian embassy

Protest outside Russian embassy Image copyright PA
Image caption Hundreds of fake limbs were placed outside the west London building

The Russian embassy has expressed concern about the security of its diplomats after a protest against Russia's bombing of Syria.

Protesters blocked the entrance to the London embassy on Thursday with 800 mannequin limbs which they said was in response to the killing of civilians in Syrian city Aleppo.

Two people also chained themselves to the gates.

Campaigners said the limbs represented the injuries suffered by people.

Activists began their protest at about 14:00 BST.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Two protesters chained themselves to the embassy gates

Syrian forces have been besieging rebel-held parts of Aleppo with backing from Russian air strikes.

In a statement, the Russian embassy said it was "deeply concerned" about the unwillingness of the UK government to "ensure security and unhindered operation of the Russian diplomatic mission in London".

It added: "An unauthorised protest action by a group of unidentified people interrupted the work of the embassy as the entrance to the consular section was blocked up with a heap of mannequin body parts while the protestors handcuffed themselves to the gate.

"As a result, the mission staff and visitors were unable to enter the premises of the embassy. Police officers remained indifferent in the face of the openly provocative and disorderly conduct of the 'demonstrators'.

"Moreover, nuisance callers blocked the embassy telephone line rendering it impossible to contact the mission for genuine callers."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Syria Campaign and Syria Solidarity UK staged the blockade

The Russian embassy statement accused the "so-called protest action" of being "carefully and thoroughly planned".

It also accused the government of waging an anti-Russian campaign in the media backed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who in the House of Commons recently encouraged people to protest outside the Russian embassy.

More than 250,000 trapped residents have been enduring food shortages, price hikes and bombing in Aleppo.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Many parts of Aleppo's rebel-held east have been damaged in air strikes

Bissan Fakih from the Syria Campaign said campaigners wanted to highlight that Russian warplanes "are killing so many families" and that the bombing "needs to stop".

"Our message to the people of (the embassy) is that the people of the world are watching," she said.

The Russian embassy appeared to suggest Boris Johnson was partly to blame by tweeting that the demonstration came "after the call of @BorisJohnson".

Image copyright Twitter

Russia and Syria have told the rebel forces to leave eastern Aleppo by Friday evening but the rebels have rejected the offer.

It is estimated that there have been more than 800 civilian deaths since the end of the last ceasefire in September.

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