Camouflaged men attacked a Russian news crew during a crackdown on anti-racism protesters in the western U.S. city of Portland, Russian state-run television said Wednesday.
Russia’s Channel One broadcaster said it believes federal agents ripped off its journalist’s helmet and knocked down its cameraman with a baton, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday.
“It looks like our group suffered at the hands of the security services,” Channel One presenter and head of news programming Kirill Kleimenov told RIA Novosti.
Channel One journalist Yulia Olkhovskaya and cameraman Vyacheslav Arkhipov received minor injuries and their equipment was destroyed, Kleimenov said.
Protests have swept across the United States following the death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in late May. Portland became the latest flashpoint after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deployed Border Patrol troops and federal marshals to quell the protests and clashes broke out between the troops and protesters.
President Donald Trump has threatened to send federal officers to more U.S. cities to restore order, describing the protesters in Portland as "anarchists and agitators." Protesters accuse Trump of painting their largely peaceful movement as violent for political gain.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on U.S. authorities to stop attacks on members of the press following the incident.
Russia’s mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said “we strongly condemn the police attack” on the Channel One news crew.
AFP contributed reporting to this article.