The Russian consul general in Edinburgh has condemned Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and called for more Western weapons to be sent to Kyiv in a social media post.
“I categorically condemn the behaviour of the military special operation of the Russian Armed Forces against the sovereign, independent Ukraine,” Andrey Yakovlev said, according to a screenshot of the now-deleted Instagram post.
“I fully support any assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces from EU countries.”
Mr Yakovlev’s presence in the Scottish capital has attracted a number of protests since Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Feb 24.
Both Labour and Scottish National Party have called for him to be expelled and forced to leave his luxury house in Edinburgh’s West End.
After the post was made on Friday, the consulate general of Russia’s Instagram account was set to private, meaning only its 1,303 subscribers were able to see its content.
A screenshot later shared on Twitter showed the post, which featured a picture of two women holding yellow and blue flowers and a handmade “I support Ukraine” banner.
Russia denied that its top diplomat in Scotland had made the post criticising the war. “Our account was hacked,” a spokesman for the consulate told the Telegraph. “It has already been deleted.”
In a Twitter post, the Russian consulate added: “False information was posted about the position of the leadership of the foreign institution.”
A spokesman for the consulate refused to reveal whether Mr Yakovlev was inside the building when approached for comment.
He has been based at the outpost on Melville Street since his appointment in 2019. A number of offices, consulates and private houses on the street are now flying the Ukrainian flag in protest against the invasion.