A truck used to deliver ecclesiastical supplies was driven through the gates of the Russian embassy in Dublin this afternoon.

Eyewitnesses described seeing a man reverse the truck through the gates on Orwell Road at around 1.30pm.

Witnesses said he then got out of the truck and distributed photos, alleged to be of victims of the conflict in Ukraine.

The man was arrested at the scene.

Gardaí confirmed that they are investigating an incident of criminal damage.

The man has been taken to Rathfarnham Garda Station where he is currently being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

The truck has now been removed from the scene.

In a statement, the Russian embassy condemned what it described as "a criminal act of insanity directed against a peaceful diplomatic mission".

It said the incident "took place in the presence of Garda officers who stood idle", adding that that it viewed the incident as "a clear and blatant violation of Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations of 1961".

The embassy is demanding that Irish authorities "take comprehensive measures" to ensure the safety of embassy staff, and says it is in contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs here.

"The incident is cause of extreme concern. We believe that no people of sound mind could support such senseless and barbaric actions," it added.

In a later follow-up statement, the Russian Embassy said "additional measures have been undertaken by the Garda to ensure safety and security of the Embassy and its personnel. The Embassy appreciates co-operation by the Irish authorities in this matter."

Gardaí have said they do not comment on statements or remarks by third parties.

Last week, Russian ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov alleged that death threats had been made against embassy staff at their home addresses.

In an interview on Russian television, Mr Filatov said that protests outside of the Dublin embassy had become violent and that staff had made reports to gardaí.

The ambassador described Ireland as being at the forefront of anti-Russian measures in Europe.

He also claimed that Russian children are being bullied in Irish schools.

Mr Filatov said: "At present, we're dealing with an extremely tense situation in the embassy. Our employees are constantly receiving death threats at their home addresses, by email and by telephone."

He said that protests outside the embassy are "very aggressive".