The two refugees claim to have been kicked out of an establishment by its manager on Monday in Paris. The latter gives another version.
“He started shouting that he supported Putin.” Larissa and Melisa, two Ukrainian refugees, claim to have been excluded by the manager of the restaurant Le Cozy Montparnasse because of their nationality this Monday in Paris. A scene filmed by Melisa. “Only an extract because my mother and I were in shock,” she told BFMTV.com.
This 15-second video in which a man, manager of the establishment, repeats twice “Viva Poutine”, Kogutyak Volodymyr, the vice-president of the Union of Ukrainians of France, shared it this Thursday on Twitter. Since then, two versions have been opposed.
“It happened the day before yesterday (this Monday, Editor’s note). It was raining and we were very cold, so we decided to go to this café ‘Le Cozy Montparnasse’ to drink tea there, explains Melisa who speaks in Russian. When we opened the menu, we looked up the price of hot drinks, and we called the waitress for information.”
“Ukrainians are not welcome”
The mother and daughter, aged 50 and 18, have counted each of their expenses since their arrival in France three months ago. “We explained to the waitress that since we are Ukrainian refugees, we have a reduced budget and that it is important for us to know how much it costs us”.
A story that it seems would not have really moved the waitress. “In response, she told us in obscene language that Ukrainians are not welcome in their establishment,” continues Melisa, who decides to call the manager.
“I thought he was unaware of how staff members interact with customers in the cafe,” she explains. She then explains the situation to him, “and he responded by shouting that he supported Putin and that it was right to kill the Ukrainian people”, assures the young girl who specifies having exchanged in English with the staff of the establishment and its manager. Kogutyak Volodymyr, the vice-president of the Union of Ukrainians of France specifies for his part that there was no physical attack.
Questioned by BFM Paris Île-de-France, the manager of Cozy Montparnasse admits having said “long live Poutine” after receiving threats from two customers. He apologizes, says he didn’t think so and acted out of irritation. Give him another version.
“I don’t care if they are Ukrainians, we accept everyone, it’s just that they didn’t want to consume and they wasted the team’s time when the restaurant was full .”
According to him, Larissa and Melissa just wanted to use his bathroom. But in the establishment, you have to place an order before accessing the sanitary facilities, reports the manager, specifying that the two customers have accepted the rule.
According to him, the waitress went to see them several times after they went to the bathroom to take their order, but they didn’t want to eat and wanted to change seats because they were too cold. They would have told him that they were Ukrainians.
The manager claims to receive threats
After half an hour, Larissa and Melissa got up to leave. Caught up by the manager who again asked them to consume, the latter would then have taken out their phone to put a bad review on the restaurant. He would then have asked them to leave his establishment. An exchange that was made through a Polish waitress, the manager not speaking English. For his part, he assures that the two women exchanged in English between them.
Since then, the manager claims to have received threats because of the video. In less than a day, the establishment received a slew of negative reviews on its Facebook page.
The mother and daughter assure that “it is really the first and only time that we have encountered this kind of situation in France”. Kogutyak Volodymyr claims to have never heard of similar facts in this Parisian establishment. The association was to meet this Wednesday evening to follow up, or not, on this event.