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From Russia With Octopussy

After Moscow's strange revelations, U.S. spies in disguise are turning up everywhere

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Given the Kremlin’s great concern about the supposed collapse of the good, old-fashioned values that built the Western world, it’s no surprise that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also accused U.S. diplomats of dressing as women in public.

The wig-donning, cross-dressing allegations he shared with journalists on Tuesday are a perfect combination of everything Moscow says about its adversaries in the United States: these people are deviant, incompetent, meddlesome weirdos.

Lavrov said some American diplomatic staff even attended political rallies and illegal protests in these unconvincing costumes, also posing as women in attempts to access government buildings in Russia.

“You can draw conclusions for yourself,” Lavrov said, without the laughter that followed his infamous comment in October to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, whom he told, “There are so many pussies around your presidential campaign on both sides.”

Lavrov may have been serious when he exposed the cross-dressing spies, but there has been plenty of laughter online, where Internet users are sharing photos of absurdly dressed people, claiming they’ve discovered shocking footage of American agents.

Costumed American diplomats return from a political rally.

The meme has also incorporated some wordplay, including jokes about the word “diplomat,” which in Russian also means “a briefcase.” One Twitter user appropriated the “How Should a Dog Wear Pants?” meme, popularized in December 2015, asking, “If diplomats [briefcases] disguised themselves, would they wear pants like this or like this?”

Internet users — some in Russia and some in Ukraine — have also taken to blaming the public drunkenness on American diplomats, joking that U.S. agents are disguising themselves as homeless boozers in a campaign to embarrass Russia.

Disguised American diplomats are trying to bring shame on Russia / PHOTO

Disguised American diplomats sample some Russian delicacies.

In the courtyard outside my apartment, some disguised diplomats are drinking vodka outside my window. They’re clearly Americans. They aren’t even chasing with snacks.

Before Lavrov inspired this latest online trend, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, appeared on national television on Sunday, and described another incident bungled by American diplomats. According to Zakharova, U.S. officials tried and failed to recruit a Russian diplomat working in the United States, seizing money and medication desperately needed for former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who died in June 2015, following a prolonged illness. 

The money was never returned and the medication never reached Primakov, despite State Secretary John Kerry’s efforts to intervene, Zakharova said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry's embarrassing allegations conform to the Kremlin’s broader assault on the Obama administration, which has gained momentum in Moscow, ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington on Friday.

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