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.