The actions of a Russian woman, Yekaterina Ustyuzhaninova, sparked an attack by Libyans against the Russian Embassy in Tripoli last week, leading Moscow to evacuate diplomats and their families for their own safety. The attacks occurred after the alleged killing of a Libyan Air Force pilot and his mother by Ustyuzhaninova.
Ustyuzhaninova has been described as a “groupie” of formerLibyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. She has praised Qaddafi in social media and on the internet, using the pen name Katya Cyaegha. Ustyuzhaninova, a weightlifter, offered to perform in international weightlifting competitions on behalf of Libya.
According to Russia Today, Ustyuzhaninova raised money for Qaddafi before entering Libya, and “swore to die” for him.
According to media reports, Ustyuzhaninova shot Alsusi, and then murdered his mother, writing "Death to Rats" in English on a wall of the house. The term “rats” has been used by Qaddafi supporters to describe his opponents in Libya. After the murders, protesters and gunmen stormed the Russian Embassy. One of the attackers was killed, officials said. No Russian staff were injured, but the embassy was closed as soon as the attack was repelled.