Police said on Sunday they were investigating an incident in a Larnaca car park involving three Cypriot women and a Russian woman.
The 10-minute video appears to show one of the Cypriot women verbally assaulting a Russian woman who was recording the incident. The Cypriot woman can be heard calling the Russian woman derogatory names. There are children in the video, a boy and a teenage girl, witnessing the altercation.
The video was uploaded to YouTube on the Cyprium News channel and is titled ‘Racist Attack in Larnaca Cyprus’.
Police tweeted on Sunday that the leadership of the force had given instructions to investigate and to identify the women in the video even though no complaint had been filed with them over the incident.
Details that emerged later said a car with three Cypriot women was about to leave the car park allegedly after hitting another vehicle on the way out.
The Russian woman then started to record the incident after telling them to stop.
The video shows at least two women shouting at the person recording on the phone. One is calling her a “whore” and telling her to go back to her country.
“Come to my home to clean the windows,” she added, while firing off expletives in both Greek and English.
“Go to the cabaret and dance,” she added, mocking the Russian woman by dancing around.
She also mocked her accent while on the phone to another person and kept referring to her as Romanian.
A second Cypriot woman threatened to take the Russian woman to court.
The argument continued even when a security guard arrived. The Russian woman told him she saw the car with the Cypriot women hit another and keep moving, so she decided to take a photo of it after telling them to stop.
Reporter.com said the car that was hit belonged to a disabled Greek Cypriot.
The Cypriot woman who had done most of the shouting in the video later posted under it in a Facebook comment that it was out of context and the video did not show what preceded the incident, according to reporter.com.
“Not only did I stop… this woman from Russia came out of nowhere and asked me for 100 euros not to say she saw it,” the woman wrote.
The Russian woman later on Sunday gave an interview to Politis. She was named as Svetlana Zaitseva, originally from St. Petersburg but who has been living in Limassol for the last 20 years and is the mother of three children.
She told Politis she had gone to Larnaca at around 8:30pm Saturday night to leave a key at her friend’s house but got lost and ended up in the car park to get her bearings and witnessed a red car hitting a white one.
She said the driver of the red car stopped for a few seconds and when they allegedly saw no reaction from anywhere, kept driving towards the exit.
Because she already had her phone in her hand to find out where she was, Zaitseva said she acted spontaneously and took some photos to record the damage. She said three women and one child got out of the red car.
One of the women asked if the white car was hers and she said no. After that she said, the abuse began.
She said two of the three women threatened her, and at some point, one of them approached her and punched her in the face.
Zaitseva said after the security guard appeared, he did not allow the women to leave.
She said she herself left at that point. On Sunday she was called by police to give a statement. Defending the making of the video, she said it was a shame to cause damage to someone else’s car and not take responsibility but she hadn’t expected to be subjected to such a racist attack, she said, and that was why she made the video public.
The Cypriot women were expected to file a complaint about the breach of their personal data.
The incident was condemned by a number of political parties.