By Paul Goble
The US embassy in Moscow posted a New Year’s greeting online from the people of America to the people of Russia noting that “we have managed to find a common language” and declaring that “we wish you a happy and peaceful New Year, filled with hope for better times ahead.”
That provoked a sharp rejoinder from Vasily Piskaryov who heads the Duma commission to investigate interference in Russia’s internal affairs, the Serpom Po Telegram channel reports (publizist.ru/blogs/118759/47459/-). He denounced the American message and said it was exactly the kind of interference he is tracking.
Piskaryov follows the logic of his rulers: they simply don’t view the Russian people as a political subject and are horrified by the possibility that anyone else would. “How dare you address them over our heads,” the Russian rulers say, rejecting any possibility of people-to-people contacts.
The image the Russian government has of its own people clearly extends to its vision of the nature of other countries as well, Serpom Po says. It notes as evidence of this that the Russian embassy in Washington didn’t send a message to the American people but instead featured on the mission’s website stories no one would want to read.
Clearly, the Telegram channel says, “Putin’s diplomats still don’t know how to work,” at least in part because they are trapped in a world of their own creation that has little to do with what the real world is like.