Published: 16:43, 25 April 2022
| Updated: 18:31, 25 April 2022
Kent's very own 'Russian embassy' has been smothered in Ukrainian flags by protesters who have labelled Vladimir Putin a "vicious murderer".
They draped flags over the gates of Seacox Heath and along barbed wire fences during a two-hour protest outside the lavish property, which is home to Russian diplomats.
The colourful display earned plenty of respect and words of support from residents and people passing by and the group has promised to return in the next couple of months with bigger plans.
Demonstrator Peter Benson said: "It was a matter of saying to Russia and Putin 'we abhor you, we stand with Ukraine'.
"We need to stand up and show Russia we object to them – whether that's by giving money to Ukrainian charities, taking in Ukrainians, sending food to them or joining protests.
"There was seven of us outside yesterday for a couple of hours and it was so motivational to see people driving past and honking, or pulling over to chat with us."
Mr Benson, an accountant, is now planning on growing sunflowers and planting them outside the home in a few weeks as a perfect sign of symbolism.
"The horrendous barbed wire makes it look like a prison camp," he added.
"It doesn't sit comfortably with me they've done it, nor the residents. It won't stop us protesting and we'll be up to a little more mischief next time and more flags. We want to cover the gates and fence."
The 58-year-old has called on people to keep their eyes peeled on future protests and get involved to stand with the people of Ukraine and oppose Russia and Putin.
It's not the first time the secretive property has had support for Ukraine posted outside.
In March, Hawkhurst author Rebecca De Saintonge showed her support for the invaded country by erecting two dozen mini-Ukraine flags along along the fence.
Seacox Heath, built in 1871, is 1,750 miles from the actual Kremlin in Moscow and was presented to the Soviet government by the English Lord Gushen after the Second World War as a gift after Russian sailors saved his son during battle.
In 1999 the Russian diplomats and their lavish estate hit the headlines when they met with a sheep farmer and detectives after 50 ewes were killed and 100 others injured after Alsatian dogs attacked the animals.