Russian Ambassador to Turkey Alexey Yerkhov has been receiving new threats and insults online, directed against him personally and against Russia as a whole, he told the newspaper Zvezda.
“The most recent [threats] include things like: ‘We’ll build skyscrapers from the skulls of your soldiers’ and ‘You’ll pay the price for every drop of blood you’ve spilled,’ and so on,” said Yerkhov.
He said that such insults are unacceptable, since threats directed against an entire country can “radicalize public attitudes”. Such an atmosphere can damage “the entire edifice of Turkish-Russian relations,” the ambassador added.
Yerkhov complained recently that he had been receiving personal threats due to the clashes between Turkish and Syrian forces in Idlib. He described what is going on in Turkish social media as “terrible madness”. Yerkhov also drew attention to the assassination of his predecessor, Andrei Karlov, in 2016. The Russian diplomat was shot in the back by an off-duty Turkish police officer, who then shouted “Do not forget Syria”. The perpetrator was later shot dead by Turkish special forces.
Turkey responded to Yerhkov’s complaints by ramping up security at the Russian embassy. The Kremlin has expressed confidence in Turkey’s ability to protect Yerkhov and the other Russian citizens in the country.