Support The Moscow Times!

Russia's Foreign Minister Runs His Potty Mouth Once Again

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Kremlin Press Service

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is swearing at people in public again. On Thursday at a meeting with his German counterpart in Hamburg, Lavrov addressed a camera operator for Reuters, asking in English, “What do you want?” before turning away and saying under his breath in Russian “debily,” a word that loosely means “dipshits.” 

Video of Lavrov’s outburst was published by the Ukrainian television network Gromadske, but the insult is audible in Reuters’ own footage, as well.

In comments on Facebook, the Foreign Ministry's colorful spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, first denied that Lavrov ever muttered an insult aimed at the Reuters reporters. Then, in another Facebook post roughly two hours later, she seemed to acknowledge the obscene comment, accusing Reuters of leaking the footage in an effort to smear Moscow and win some cheap thrills online.

This is not the first time Lavrov has made headlines for profane language. This October, he responded harshly when questioned about sexists comments made by Donald Trump, revealed during the U.S. presidential election. 

Lavrov told CNN, “There are so many pussies around your presidential campaign on both sides that I prefer not to comment.” (He prefaced the statement by pointing out that English is not his native language, and that he was not sure if his words would be considered “decent.”) 

In 2008, Lavrov reportedly told the British foreign secretary, “Who are you to fucking lecture me?” when confronted in a phone call about Russia's invasion of Georgia. 

In August 2015, Lavrov was caught muttering "fucking morons" (in Russian) during a meeting with Saudi Arabian officials on the dangers of ISIS. He was apparently unaware that his microphone would pick up the remark.

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.

As we approach the holiday season, 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.