Following contradicting media reporting, a Russian TV channel broadcast footage of the moment a US diplomat was tackled to the ground by a policeman in the officially unreported attack dating from 6 June.
The video shows the purported diplomat exiting a taxi before a Russian policeman rushes out of his booth and tackles him, the two then struggle on the ground as the diplomat tries to break free.
The attack was first referenced by the Washington Post at the end of June, citing that US officials were briefed on the incident. The initial report said that the diplomat suffered a broken shoulder in the attack and was flown out of Russia to receive treatment.
Respective authorities gave different interpretations of the story. One said that that the diplomat was seeking refuge in the embassy as Russian intelligence services wanted to detain him; another said that the diplomat may in fact have been a CIA spy working under "diplomatic cover".
The footage was broadcast on the Russian NTV station. According to the Moscow Times, the Russian channel claimed that the American was the aggressor while the policeman was simply doing his job as the diplomat had no intention of showing his papers.
Prior to the video surfacing, the policeman had allegedly said the diplomat introduced himself and presented a pass to him. However, in the video, the diplomat is seen getting out of a taxi before immediately being ambushed by the policeman.
Both countries have accused the other of systematic harassment of their diplomats.