After accusing Russia of interfering in the U.S. elections last year through hacking and surreptitious social media propaganda, Americans can now label Putin’s government with another accusatory term: copycats.
The reason? Russia is now turning the tables and claiming that the United States is trying to interfere with its own elections coming up in March.
The cynically hollow accusations come after the U.S. State Department criticized the Putin regime for banning Alexey Navalny, a noted opponent of the Kremlin, from being a candidate for the Russian presidency.
The country’s Central Election Commission (CEC) announced on Christmas day that they had denied Navalny’s registration as a candidate due to a number of criminal convictions that his supporters say were all transparently politically-motivated.
Navalny was the most popular opposition figure thought to be planning to run against Putin for the Russian presidency, and he has been a fierce critic of corruption and cronyism in the Kremlin.
The U.S. Department of State, though decimated under its current stewardship by Trump and Secretary Rex Tillerson, mustered enough indignation over the CEC’s move to issue a statement attacking Moscow’s “ongoing crackdown against independent voices” and demanding that the Kremlin conduct elections that are “transparent, fair, and free and that guarantee the free expression of the will of the people, consistent with its international human rights obligations.”
Kind of like what the U.S. elections would have been without Russian interference and the electoral college.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said:
“This State Department statement, which I’m sure will be repeated, is a direct interference in our electoral process and internal affairs.’
“The funniest thing is that these are the same people who just branded RT and Sputnik foreign agents, who are harassing Russian media around the world and who are investing huge amounts of money into ‘countering Russian propganda’ which is how they label anyone they disagree with,” Zakharova continued. “And these people expressed outrage over alleged Russian ‘interference’ in their electoral process for an entire year!?”
While Putin and the State Department play in their propagandistic house of mirrors, Alexey Navalny condemned the Kremlin’s attempts to prevent him from “speaking the truth.”
“Only Putin and the candidates that he personally chose, ones who don’t pose the slightest threat to him, are taking part [in the vote],” he said.
While the remnants of the State Department are still upholding pre-Trumpian electoral values around the world, the President himself hasn’t uttered a word about the latest move by the Kremlin. It’s almost as if he’s afraid to say anything negative about Putin. One has to wonder why Trump isn’t pissing all over this obvious move to squash political dissent in Russia.
The post Russia just accused the U.S. of election interference, but there’s a catch appeared first on Washington Press.