Allegedly a man from Brooklyn smitten for unfurling a flag of a pro-Putin region in Ukraine claims he was merely opening a gift from a YouTube fan when his attacker struck, The Post has learned.
The 29-year-old Gravesend man, who asked not to be identified, said he runs a YouTube channel called “Ukraine War Awareness” where he tries to debunk “fake news on both sides” for his 20,000+ subscribers.
He received the flag of the Donetsk People’s Republic – a pro-Russian breakaway part of eastern Ukraine – on Tuesday and opened it outside at his mother’s request as the box was dusty.
“Inside that package is another package, and that is now a FedEx package,” the man recalled. “I opened this up and this has the flag in it.”
The Russian-born victim describes himself as “half Ukrainian and half Russian” as his mother is originally from Ukraine. He did not try to hang the flag, but a neighbor was outraged by the pro-Russian region’s flag and hit him, he recalled.
“I was just trying to open it,” he said Friday.
The angry neighbor, identified as Vladisla Radinovskiy, 35, allegedly chipped the man’s tooth after following him for several blocks while shouting racial slurs. He was charged with assault as a hate crime, threat and aggravated harassment.
Radinovskiy, who was charged on Thursday, was released without bail and is scheduled to appear in court again on May 17. He was also ordered to stay away from the YouTuber.
“Do you mind my flag?” The victim recalled Radinoskiy barking at him during the alleged attack. “I’m going to punch you Russians around the ears.”
The Brooklyn man said he thinks Radinoskiy assumed he was intentionally provoking or angering him with the flag, but insists that wasn’t the case.
“I didn’t look around before opening packages,” he said. “Now I have to, if there is a person who would be offended by the content unfamiliar to me.”
The flag will not decorate the victim’s home or anywhere else, he said.
“I put it on a shelf with all the other stuff that people send me,” he continued.
The alleged hate crime victim said Friday he still has swelling on his chin as well as an upcoming visit to the dentist to fix his damaged tooth.
“I have to go to the dentist to cover the chip,” he told the Post.
Radinovskiy declined to comment on arriving at his home, saying only “good for him” upon learning of the victim’s claims, before driving away in a black BMW.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/18/nyc-man-attacked-for-pro-russian-flag-says-he-got-it-from-youtube-fan/ NYC man attacked over pro-Russian flag says he got it from YouTube fan