Ukrainian man sets himself on fire outside Ukraine’s consulate in Kraków

The building of the Consulate General of Ukraine in Krakow. (Source: Wikimedia)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

A 63-year-old Ukrainian man has set himself on fire outside the Ukrainian consulate in Kraków after reportedly calling for Ukrainians to return home and defend their country against Russia.

According to Polish commercial radio, RMF FM, the incident took place early on Thursday morning as a group of Ukrainian nationals stood in line outside the consulate building in Kraków. According to eyewitnesses, a man began to behave strangely and shout loudly in Ukrainian. He proceeded to douse himself in liquid from a bottle before setting himself on fire and running in agony.

Witnesses reported that the man was helped by police officers standing guard at the consulate. The man was severely burned but conscious. He was admitted to the hospital with doctors describing his condition as “serious” and “life-threatening.”

The local police have collected statements from witnesses. They have claimed that the 63-year-old Ukrainian had called on those standing in line to go back to their homeland to defend it from the Russians. 

According to February’s data, there are around 31,000 Ukrainian refugees living in Kraków, and 50,000 have been given social insurance numbers. Back in April of last year, it was estimated that 19 percent of those living in Kraków were Ukrainian. 

Ukrainians residing in Poland are increasingly more likely to remain in the country upon the end of the conflict with Russia. A survey conducted in October last year showed 17 percent of Ukrainian refugees planned to stay in Poland indefinitely with no intention of returning to Ukraine. However, the same polling in March of this year showed this figure had more than doubled to 38 percent.

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