Larnaca District Court on Wednesday found two Cypriot sisters, aged 31 and 38, guilty of a racist attack on a Russian woman over a year ago in a car park and only fined them €750 each.
The two women were brought to justice after a 10-minute YouTube video depicted a Russian woman at the centre of vile racist abuse which also involved spitting, cursing and physical violence.
A video was recorded and posted on social media by the victim of the attack, Svetlana Zaitseva, showing the Cypriot women verbally assaulting her.
In the video, the two women, from Nicosia, call the Russian derogatory names, reproducing racial and sexual stereotypes about women from Eastern Europe.
Details that emerged later said a vehicle driven by one of the Cypriot women was about to leave the Larnaca car park after allegedly hitting another vehicle on her way out.
The victim had told them to stop even though it wasn’t her car.
Three Cypriot women got out of the car to remonstrate with the do-gooder, telling her to mind her own business, clean some windows and “go back to Romania’”.
Zaitseva then started to record the 5 October 2019 incident after telling them to stop and the verbal abuse followed.
A witness alleged that a minor also joined in to kick the woman while she was being verbally abused, spat at and physically assaulted.
The video of the incident went viral, raising a storm of condemnation and sympathy for the Russian woman – originally from St. Petersburg but living in Limassol for the past 20 years. She is the mother of three children.
What shocked public opinion was the sheer ferocity of the abuse, stereotypical bad-mouthing of a foreigner who was trying to keep her cool by requesting the women do the right thing and not leave the scene of an accident.