A man crashed his car into the gate of the Russian embassy in Romanian capital Bucharest on Wednesday morning before setting it on fire and dying. The sedan, engulfed in flames, was seen outside the embassy's fence, as security personnel ran through the area.
According to sources close to the investigation, the driver intentionally hit the building's fence and lit himself on fire when requested to exit the vehicle. A video of the incident has gone viral that shows the car up in flames with the man burning inside. In a telephone conversation, the Russian embassy in Bucharest said it could not immediately share any specifics regarding the event.
The car crashed into the fence outside the Russian embassy at around 6am on Wednesday but could not breach the building's compound. The vehicle was visible outside the embassy's fence, engulfed in flames, as security personnel hurried through the area.
It was initially not known if it was an accident or the man purposefully ploughed his car into the gate of the Russian embassy. However, it was later reported that he intentionally did it but the actual reason is yet not known as the incident is still under investigation.
According to reports, the fire was put out by firefighters who arrived on the site, but the motorist died at the spot. Unconfirmed footage from the area shows a silver car engulfed in flames in the early hours of the morning, with strong flames rising from the vehicle's hood.
According to some local sources, the car slammed into the building's perimeter at a high rate. It was managed to get through temporary obstacles erected around the embassy as a result of popular outrage over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
In the video, the car appears to be stuck in the fence, while two men, who have been identified as police officers on social media, can be seen rushing and asking for help.
Rage Against Russia
The incident happened just a day after Romania dismissed 10 Russian ambassadors for failing to follow international laws, according to Reuters. The deportation was part of a series of similar moves taken by several other European countries this week in response to accusations of Russian military killing residents in Ukraine's Bucha village.
It is not known if the car related incident also had to do something with Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
However, according to a report in the Daily Star, Romanian news channel Antena3 identified the man as Bogdan Draghici, who had allegedly been sentenced to 15 years in prison this week for sexual offences.
Draghich is said to have referenced the situation in Ukraine in his final post on Facebook two days ago, writing: "I am Ukrainian too! It would be great to consider all of us Ukrainians until put an end to the horrible war that threatens all mankind to death."
The attack, according to Russian Ambassador to Romania Valery Kuzmin, was "an actual act of terrorism."
"Today early in the morning there was actually a terrorist act, although there are many circumstances that make this incident more difficult to understand," Kuzmin said on television describing the incident.
"The atmosphere that is gradually developing here is very tense. The embassy has repeatedly received direct e-mail threats to 'blow up', 'take revenge' and so on."