15:06 Jul. 9, 2016
On June 6 Russian officer allegedly broke U.S. official's shoulder in Moscow, Washington says
The United States last month expelled two Russian diplomats as a response to a Russian police guard tackling a U.S. diplomat outside the American Embassy in Moscow, the State Department said Friday.
The diplomats were declared persona non grata on June 17, spokesman John Kirby said. That was less than two weeks after the incident that sparked the diplomatic row.
The June 6 scuffle between the police officer and the diplomat was captured on security footage and broadcast on Russian television last week. It shows a man emerging from a taxi and walking briskly up the embassy steps.
He is just outside the door when a guard jumps out of a gatehouse and wrestles him to the ground. Even with the patrolman on top of him, the diplomat pushes with his feet and manages while on his back to get inside the door to the embassy, which is U.S. territory and inviolate.
The United States said the diplomat, who was thought to be an intelligence officer under diplomatic cover and suffered a broken shoulder in the scrap, flashed a identification badge before he was assaulted.
The State Department has said that since sanctions were imposed on Russia after it annexed Ukraine two years ago, there has been a "significant increase" in Russian harassment of diplomats from the United States and other Western countries. They say it has happened in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia.