The Russian Consulate in New York was vandalized with spray-paint early Friday morning, according to the police.
Officers responded to a 911 call about vandalism on the facade of the building, located on East 91st Street just off Fifth Avenue, at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday, the police said.
No words were visible — just wide streaks of red paint sprawled across the ground floor facade of the building, covering windows and the double doors. But some on social media and a few people passing by interpreted the vandalism to be a protest of Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine.
The vandalism appeared just hours before President Vladimir Putin of Russia gave a belligerent speech in Moscow about the annexation of four regions in Ukraine.
On Friday morning, Maria Phillips, who was born in 1983 in what was then the Soviet Union and now lives is London, took photos of the scene.
“I feel moved by it,” she said. “It obviously stands for blood, which Russia is responsible for, killing Ukrainian people and sending people to die in the war, which is pointless and cruel and stupid.”
There have been no arrests, and the episode was deemed a possible bias incident, the police said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for more information later.