Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Trolls U.S. State Department's Ukraine Twitter Campaign

Russia's Foreign Ministry has decided to give social media trolling a whirl by commandeering a Twitter hastag campaign that Washington came up with to show support for Ukraine.

The U.S. State Department started posting messages on Twitter with the identifying tag #UnitedforUkraine in late March, but the Foreign Ministry's English-language account has started adding the phrase to its own tweets.

The ministry has used the hashtag more than a dozen times since Thursday, adding it to statements from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, including those criticizing U.S. policy.

Responding to the social media appropriation, State Department spokeswoman Jen Paski posted on her Twitter account, "The world stands #UnitedforUkraine. Let's hope that the #Kremlin & @mfa_russia will live by the promise of hashtag."

This is the not the only example of the U.S. and Russia exchanging barbs over media maneuvers.

Lavrov took exception to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's characterization of Russian state-run television station RT as a "propaganda bullhorn." According to a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website, Lavrov said Friday that Kerry had spoken with the tone of a prosecutor and that his comments were "unacceptable" and "not very cultured."

See also:

Rogozin Goads McCain in Sanctions Squabble

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.