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Russian Diplomat Injured in Panama Stabbing

A senior Russian diplomat in Panama has been injured in a knife attack by a Ukrainian man, according to the local Russian ambassador.

The Russian Vice-Consul in Panama, Yevgeny Manilov, was with two other people in the parking lot of a large business center, which also contains the Russian Embassy, on Friday morning when he was stabbed, according to local media reports.

The attacker, identified as Oleksiy Lisovenko, tried to flee the crime scene, but he was detained by local police shortly after the incident. Manilov was taken to hospital after the attack, but his injuries were not life threatening.

According to a spokesman for Ukraine's Embassy in Mexico, Lisovenko said he "had been made drunk or hypnotized" and "was in a state of a fog" before the attack.

Alexei Yermakov, the Russian ambassador in Panama, earlier suggested that the attack was carried out by a drug addict who had arrived from Ukraine several months ago.

"The Ukrainian citizen recently visited the consular department of the Russian Embassy and asked for $3,000 to $5,000. Clearly there was something wrong and he was high," said Yermakov, adding that the motive for the attack may have been revenge. "I do not exclude that, in a mind befuddled by narcotics, such an idea could arise," he said.

Local police are investigating the incident, and the embassy has requested local police and the Russian Foreign Ministry provide increased security for its diplomatic staff, Yermakov said.

A spokesman for Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, Yevgeniy Perebiynis, confirmed Saturday that the attack on the Russian diplomat had been carried out by a Ukrainian national.

Perebiynis said Ukraine's consul in Panama would meet with the suspected attacker and also have consultations with Panama's authorities and Russian diplomats.

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