Investigators from the Prosecutor’s Office of Göttingen are treating the ‘politically motivated’ attack as attempted murder, which was carried out last week against a group of children sat on a bridge in the small German town of Einbeck, Lower Saxony, who all spoke Ukrainian.
The Russian man, believed to be in his early 40s, threw an as-yet-unnamed boy off a bridge, understood to be one that crossed the Krummes Wasser river in the south of the town, and pulled the hair of a young girl.
The boy hit the bridge’s iron girders before dropping into the water fives metres below, before the unnamed Russian picked up a glass bottle and threw it at his shoulder.
He then fled the scene, and the other children told their parents about the incident, which prosecutors are treating as an attempted murder.
The Russian man, who was reported to have been wearing a blue T-shirt, a black cap and denim shorts, told the children they needed to speak Russian, and claimed that Ukraine had started the war.
The Ukrainian boy was taken to hospital, where doctors said he suffered injuries to his head and left foot.
He was released from hospital shortly after arriving after doctors said he had not suffered serious injuries.
The attack drew swift condemnation.
Sergej Sumlenny, the director of the European Resilience Centre, told the Telegraph: ‘This clearly shows the level of hatred among a certain large group who lives in Germany.
‘Many identify themselves with Russia and the Soviet Union – they watch Russian TV and are totally brainwashed with Russian propaganda’.
This is a standard level of anti-Ukrainianism that you see among Russians, a readiness to hate, cause pain and even kill indiscriminately just because this person speaks Ukrainian.
Population of Russians in Germany
Germany has one of the highest number of ethnic Russians outside of Russia in the world, with 3.5 million people in the country considering themselves to have Russian blood.
Attacks on Ukrainians in Germany have increased dramatically since Russia invaded Ukraine last February.
Germany supports Ukraine
Germany’s support of Ukraine has only grown since war broke out, angering both ethnic Russians and the German far-right.
Some Ukrainians in Berlin have reported removing all Ukrainian symbols from their clothing for fear of being targeted.