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Protesters hang Ukraine flags and picture of Vladimir Putin at Kent's 'Kremlin' in Hawkhurst


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Kent's very own 'Russian embassy' has been smothered in Ukrainian flags by protesters who have labelled Vladimir Putin a "vicious murderer".

Half a dozen protesters from around the country, including Yalding, Birmingham and south east London, visited the hidden 'mini Kremlin' tucked away between Hawkhurst and Flimwell yesterday.

Protesters gathered outside the Russian embassy in Hawkhurst to stand against Russian and Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan
Protesters gathered outside the Russian embassy in Hawkhurst to stand against Russian and Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan
Half a dozen protesters were in Hawkhurst supporting Ukraine. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan
Half a dozen protesters were in Hawkhurst supporting Ukraine. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan

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."

Peter Benson, 58, outside Seacox Heath in Hawkhurst. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan
Peter Benson, 58, outside Seacox Heath in Hawkhurst. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan
A sign with Boris Johnson's face was also put up outside Seacox Heath. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan
A sign with Boris Johnson's face was also put up outside Seacox Heath. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan

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.

The Seacox Heath is found between Flimwell and Hawkhurst
The Seacox Heath is found between Flimwell and Hawkhurst
People driving past were honking their horns and showing support, according the group. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan
People driving past were honking their horns and showing support, according the group. Picture: Peter Eugene Beagan

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.

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