A graffitist spray painted an anti-Putin slogan on a large rock on a Phuket beach. The Phuket News reported that the slogan criticising Russia’s president on the rock at Nai Thon Beach was first spotted by a foreigner yesterday morning.
Lifeguards confirmed that the graffiti had not been on the rock at 7pm the night before it was found. Lifeguard Nattawut Boonnakaew noted that the rock that was tagged is within the boundaries of the Sirinath National Park.
The slogan, written in English, reads, “Putin killer stop war,” with Russian writing underneath.
Sakhu Police officers said they would check CCTV footage. Meanwhile, park officers said they would remove the graffiti from the rock as soon as possible. Police are now hunting down the graffitist.
Russians make up Phuket’s biggest tourist group. In November, Phuket saw 55,097 Russian tourists arriving on its shores. In December, the president of the Southern Thai Hotels Association said Russians made up about 25% of the island province’s total number of visitors.
Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, a total of 7,155 civilians have been killed as of February 5 2023, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Thailand has taken a neutral stance on the issue. Last year in March, a Thai government spokesperson said that all parties should exercise “maximum restraint.” He stressed that Prime Minister Prayut supported a policy of ‘dialogue’ to achieve peace.
The Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, has expressed his appreciation to Thailand for remaining neutral over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
But others have not been so pleased. Last year in May, representatives of five countries walked out of an APEC trade ministers’ meeting in Bangkok when Russia’s economic development minister Maksim Reshetnikov was speaking.
The spray paint on the rock at Phuket’s Nai Thon Beach is the latest statement against Russia’s actions made in Thailand.
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