Eight days after Russia illegally invaded a sovereign country to overthrow its government, reportedly killing thousands of Ukrainian troops and civilians, Vladimir Putin's spy chief is now decrying the international sanctions that have crushed the Russian economy.
Russian Foreign Intelligence Service director Sergey Naryshkin, using language that many are saying could have been written by the American far-right, or Fox News, says:
"The masks are off. The West isn't simply trying to close off Russia behind a new iron curtain. This is about an attempt to ruin our government - to 'cancel' it, as they now say in 'tolerant' liberal-fascist circles."
The quote was posted by The Washington Post's national security reporter Paul Sonne.
It's important to note that the Soviet Union "built" the "iron curtain" to separate the USSR from the West, so the analogy is historically inaccurate, misleading, and as some suggest, smacks of false victimhood.
Naryshkin was infamously slammed by Putin at a Kremlin meeting aired around the world last week. Now once again he is being blasted – and widely mocked:
"Cancel culture strikes again," wrote The Atlantic's Molly Jong-Fast in response to Naryshkin's remarks.
"They are really desperate to change the narrative here. If you start a war, you can't then pretend that YOU are the victim of cancel culture," a Twitter user replied in agreement.
"This kind of language is exactly the same as the gop messaging from elected officials to tv personalities to online influencers & internet trolls. It's the same twisting of words and meaning smothered with a thick sauce of contempt. See it?" noted another social media user.
Foreign and defense policy writer, professor of national security and strategy at the U.S. Army War College Steve Metz replied: "No Sergei, the world is trying to cancel your war criminal, nazi like aggression. The world held its nose and tolerated your fascist government before that."
"We've seen claims of "cancel culture victimhood" from bigots, white supremacists, sexual harassers, rapists, public masterbators, and many others, but this one might trump them all (so to speak). Ridiculous," added another Twitter user.
"Isn't it interesting that he uses the same language as Fox News?" asked WGN anchor Steve Grzanich.
He was not alone in that observation:
Putin's government is working hard to win hearts and minds... among Fox News anchors and hardcore Trump fans https://t.co/gFKLtTe4Ud
— Rob Cohen (@Rob_Coh) March 3, 2022
Clemens Wergin, the Chief Correspondent for German news outlet Welt: "Everybody is a Nazi or a Fascist it seems who doesn't do what Russia's cleptocratic dictatorship wants."