Russia hits back at Pres. Obama with flurry of online insults
Russia has retaliated quickly against the US’s expulsion of its diplomats over alleged hacking attacks, with a series of pointed barbs aimed at the outgoing Obama administration.
President Barack Obama announced sanctions against four Russian individuals for what it said was election interference Thursday.
He also ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave the country and two Russian compounds in the US to be closed.
The response was swift — and sour.
The Russian embassy in London posted the following tweet:
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was also swift to condemn the move with a vitriolic message on his Facebook page.
“It is regrettable that the Obama administration, which started out by restoring our ties, is ending its term in an anti-Russia agony. RIP,” he wrote
Within an hour the post had attracted 68 shares, 59 comments and 722 likes.
Moscow has denied interfering in the US election, calling the hacking claims “groundless.” And on Friday, in a tit-for-tat move, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recommended expelling 35 US diplomatic staff from the country.
It echoes a comment he made to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in October when he called the hacking claims “ridiculous.”
The proposed Russian diplomatic retaliation follows a tweet from the Russian embassy in the US, promising a response to make “Washington officials feel very uncomfortable as well.”
In a series of posts it said the sanctions were not just an unfriendly act but illegal as well.
The Russian embassy in Canada joined in the attack, saying the ban on Russian diplomats likely violated the Vienna convention, and retweeting a picture that poked fun at the WikiLeaks embarrassment for the US.
Broadcaster RT (formerly Russia Today), which is funded by the Russian government and says it has 4.5 million subscribers, quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying the American people had been “humiliated” by Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats.
‘Washington slapped down’
RT reports that she said: “Today America, the American people were humiliated by their own President. Not by international terrorists, not by enemy’s troops. This time Washington was slapped by (its) own master, who has complicated the urgent tasks for the incoming team in the extreme.”
She was also quoted by the Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA), accusing the US of telling “lies” over the hack.
The harsh language continued into Friday with the MFA tweeting that Lavrov did “not consider it necessary to work in G8 format.”
The Russian embassy in the UK has been particularly snarky in recent months with a series of tweets showing that the nation feels victimized.
Earlier in December it posted an image complaining about what it called Russia-bashers after accusations — denied by the Kremlin — that Moscow was responsible for hacking the US election.