A 29-year-old Brooklyn man said he was taunted and beaten as a “damn Russian” for unfurling a flag from a pro-Putin region of Ukraine – his attacker now faces hate crime charges.
The victim, a Russian, opened a package containing the Flag of Donetsk People’s Republica pro-Russian breakaway part of eastern Ukraine, just after 5 p.m. Tuesday, when he said a neighbor objected.
The incident comes as pro-Ukrainian sentiment in the Big Apple is at an all-time high following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“I happened to open it in front of a balcony that had a Ukrainian flag hanging and there was a person sitting there,” the victim, who asked not to be identified, told The Post on Thursday.
“I turn to the balcony, see it and walk away immediately because I know what kind of tension and escalation that can lead to,” he said. “I know the person might think I’m there to provoke him, which I wasn’t.”
He said he had walked less than two blocks when he noticed his attacker following him – and started shouting racial slurs.
“He closed the distance very quickly,” said the victim. “So it was more than just a moment of anger because he had a lot of time to suppress his anger a bit and stop and think for a second.
“That was a moment of hate.”
He said the suspect then hit him – an attack the victim believes would have continued had he not called the police.
The suspect, identified as Vladisla Radinovskiy, 35, had followed the victim to 23rd Avenue near Benson Avenue in Gravesend before allegedly punching the victim and chipping his tooth, police officers said.
Police arrested Radinovskiy just before 6pm and charged him with hate crime, threats and aggravated harassment.
Radinovskiy was charged Thursday and released without bail pending a court hearing on May 17.
The court issued a protective order to stay away from the victim.
It was not known if the suspect is Ukrainian.
He did not respond to a call for comment Thursday.
Donetsk became home to pro-Russian separatists and broke away from Ukraine in 2014.
“I hope these situations never happen again in the future, and I really hope that Russians and Ukrainians can get along again sooner rather than later,” the victim told The Post.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/17/brooklyn-resident-with-pro-russian-flag-punched-in-hate-crime-cops/ Brooklyn residents with pro-Russia flag in hate crime: police officers