The Russian Embassy in London has issued a curious response to President Barack Obama sanctioning Russian officials over meddling in the US elections - tweeting a picture of a duckling emblazoned with the words “LAME”.
The cavalier approach to international diplomacy followed the outgoing US President’s crackdown as he warned: “All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions.”
In case it needs spelling out, the Holland Park-based Russian outpost was referring to Obama as a ‘lame duck’ - coming as it does days before he makes way for President-Elect Donald Trump on January 20.
The move will hit two Russian intelligence agencies, three companies and four individual intelligence officers with sanctions banning them from travel and business with U.S. companies or individuals. Obama also ordered 35 Russian operatives posted at diplomatic facilities in Washington and San Francisco to leave.
The administration is also closing down two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York used to gather intelligence, according to the president’s statement. Trump has cast doubt on the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was responsible for unearthing and releasing material damaging to Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday, Trump said it was time to “move on”.
The Embassy’s free-wheeling social media strategy prompted an eyebrow-raising baffled response.
It’s not the first time the Russian Embassy’s Twitter account has attempted to go viral.
In October, it warned its citizens to be aware of the ‘killer clown’ craze sweeping the UK after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urged the public to march on the embassy over the country’s role in the Syrian conflict.
The embassy put out an information alert - highlighting the rise in the number of attacks by people in clown suits. The purpose of the clowns’ antics is to “cause fear and bewilderment”, the embassy said.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said they did not “feel the need to regularly be monitoring the Russian Embassy Twitter account”.