WASHINGTON — At least one person has been arrested in D.C. after graffiti was found on a sidewalk outside the Russian Embassy. Demonstrators gathered outside the Embassy of the Russian Federation early Thursday morning, as soon as word came down that Russian troops had begun their anticipated invasion of Ukraine.
The word "MURDER" could be seen in red spraypaint on a public sidewalk adjacent to 2650 Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest. According to a Secret Service spokesperson, one person was arrested and charged with defacing property.
"The individual was subsequently transported to MPD 2D for processing," the USSS spokesperson said.
DC Police and uniformed Secret Service officers could be seen taking photos of the graffiti and trying to wash it off the sidewalk.
A small group of protesters were seen outside the embassy holding Ukrainian flags and signs reading, "Hands off Ukraine." They say they rushed to the embassy to try to get more information and to support each other.
Many people that were outside early Thursday were from Ukraine and still have family members there. Leonid Chumilo was one of the Ukrainian natives voicing his opposition to Russia's attack Thursday morning.
While speaking to reporters outside the Embassy, Chumilo, a PhD student at the University of Maryland, said his sister woke up in Kyiv to the sounds of explosions at 5 a.m.
"If you want to declare war, maybe like gentlemen, told us at least," Chumilo said. "But no. He's just a real fascist ... A lot of people are dying there. Wake up -- do something. If we will not stop Putin, all the world can be burned."
Chumilo pleaded for global unity and action in order to protect democracy and liberty, for more than just Ukrainians.
"I hope Ukraine will go to bed in peaceful city with no shootings," Chumilo said. "It's today Ukraine, what will be tomorrow? You think Putin's going to stop only on Ukraine? Do you remember history? Did Stalin stop? Did Hitler stop ever? No."
More protests are expected outside the White House Thursday afternoon.
We're here to protest to stop this war and to show the world that we're not going to stand by and do nothing," said Roxolana Wynar, one of the protesters outside the Embassy Thursday morning. "We're going to unite, and we're going to call on the U.S. government to do more and our allies to do more to stop this war."