Casino Maltese Expels Russian Ambassador over War in Ukraine

Casino Maltese Expels Russian Ambassador over War in Ukraine

Casino Maltese will no longer admit on its premises the ambassador of the Russian Federation in Malta, Andrey Lopukhov. The diplomat has lost his membership and will no longer be able to attend the exclusive social club in retaliation to President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked aggression against its democratic neighbor.

Cold Snap in Diplomatic Relations

On Thursday, February 24, multiple strikes targeted and destroyed military bases and facilities across Ukraine with Russia bombing in the east and west of the country. Some of those attacks originated in Belarus. Since then, the world has moved to condemn and isolate Russia from its trade, economy and has frozen the central bank’s reserves.

Meanwhile, the United States and its allies have set up a task force that will hunt down oligarch assets and cease them. The proceeds, some argue, would be used to support the Ukrainian relief efforts. On the back of this, Lopukhov has paid a small price.

The suspension directly opposed Putin’s illegal war on Ukraine and the diplomat has been reportedly isolated in Malta. Casino Maltese stated that under its motto, aggressors were not welcome. The motto reads Omnibus Idem which is Latin for “All Are Equal.”

There was no equality or even reciprocity in the actions Russia took against neighboring Ukraine, however, let alone the underhand conscripting of Belarusian and Chechen military, resources, and soldiers to further terrorize the country. Russia’s own army was chronically malnourished and ill-prepared, leading to heavy casualties in the first days of the conflicts. The Kremlin has denied any casualties and blocked Wikipedia because of an article citing those numbers.

The protest is not intended at Lopukhov’s personality specifically, but rather the ruling cast he represents. Protests in Malta have erupted in front of the Russian embassy, too with democracy and human rights groups in Malta calling for symbolic protests.

Gaming Industry Leaving Russia

As Lopukhov stays away from the posh tables at the casino, many Ukrainians are sitting in the path of Russian tanks and invaders, with often the soldiers turning out ignorant that a real war is ongoing and pointing to a severe lack of communication. Since the first days of advance, Russian armies have switched to artillery warfare with many civilians targeted purposefully by the Russian side.

A response by the gambling industry has not been too late. Parimatch announced that it’s committing $1 million to support the army’s efforts in stopping the aggressor. Meanwhile, both Parimatch and Bet365 have said that they would no longer operate in Russia.