A giant picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Iraqi capital Baghdad has sparked controversy among Iraqis.
Witnesses told Anadolu Agency that the picture was erected on Wednesday evening by unknown individuals in the Karrada district in central Baghdad as an expression of support to Russia in its war on Ukraine.
“We Support Russia,” was written at the edge of the picture with the individuals describing themselves as “Friends of the President,” said the witnesses.
They added that Iraqi security forces removed the photo on Thursday.
Putin's picture sparked negative reactions on social media in Iraq with many decrying the war for causing casualties and unrest.
Baghdad has balanced relations with both Washington and Moscow.
Russia's war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the European Union, US and UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
Over 2,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the war, according to Ukrainian authorities.
More than 874,000 people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.