US expelled two Russian officials after ‘violent’ Moscow attack


UNITED STATES: Two Russian diplomats have been expelled by the US after a "very violent" attack on an American counterpart in Moscow by a policeman. The news comes after complaints from Washington about what it deemed a mounting campaign of harassment and intimidation of American diplomats and their families in the Russian capital.

The State Department explained that the two officials were expelled on 17th June after an assault on the American diplomat in the Russian capital 11 days previously. The latest measure comes in the wake of allegedly increasing harassment "over the last couple of years" towards American diplomats by Russia, department spokesman John Kirby revealed.

Mr Kirby described the attack, which took place outside the US Embassy compound, as "unprovoked" and endangering the diplomat's safety. Russia denied the accusation, responding that the American was a CIA agent who refused to provide his identification documents and subsequently hit the guard in the face – something the US disputes.

Mr Kirby said that the US has urged the Russian government to stop the harassment of American personnel in the country and across Europe.

Last month, the Washington Post reported such incidents of harassment included breaking into the homes of embassy staff, rearranging furniture and even killing a family pet.