President Vladimir Putin made no statement on the unprecedented chaos in the United States when he spoke briefly with journalists after attending an Orthodox Christmas service, while Russia's Foreign Ministry said the U.S electoral process is archaic and prone to violations.
A rampaging mob of Trump supporters on Wednesday stormed a session of Congress being held to certify Joe Biden's election win, triggering violence and accusations the president was attempting a coup.
“The events in Washington show that the U.S. electoral process is archaic, does not meet modern standards and is prone to violations,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.
“We wish that the friendly American people will survive this dramatic moment in their own history with dignity.”
Other world leaders expressed shock and outrage at the events, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying “What happened today in Washington is not American,” and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemning the “disgraceful scenes.”
Here are the reactions from other Russian public figures and politicians, and in the country's media:
— The leader of Russia’s Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov said in a statement:
“The boomerang came back to them. It was them that launched color revolutions. In fifty years they carried out three dozen, if not more. They toppled the leaders in North Africa and Yugoslavia and ousted a normal government in Ukraine, they had a go at Belarus last year. Well, now they are paying for it.”
— Leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny tweeted:
“Putinists are jubilant at the chaos in the United States and are praising ‘Putin's stability.’ Of course, there are problems there. Many. But in the USA, there is still an average monthly salary, of about 306,000 rubles. In the Russian Federation, according to official statistics, the average salary is about 40,000 – or, more likely — 30,000 rubles.”
—Pro-Kremlin political talk show host Vladimir Sovolyov’s YouTube channel in an hours-long live stream of the events dubbed them “Maidan in Washington,” in a reference to civil unrest in Ukraine in 2013-2014.
— The Kommersant business daily called the storming a “pogrom” on the US Capitol
— Two Russian senators, including Alexei Pushkov, the head of the committee for information policy, shared conspiracy theories voiced by Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz alleging the involvement of the far-left anti-fascist group known as “antifa” in the disturbances.
“The unrest on Capitol Hill that interrupted the official affirmation of electoral votes in Congress certainly casts a shadow on the entire process of the democratic transfer of power ... As we can see, the boomerang of ‘color revolutions’ [in post-Soviet countries] is coming back to the U.S. All this threatens to turn into a crisis of the American system of power in the new century.”
— Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova simply shared former CNN Moscow bureau chief Jill Dougherty’s tweet arguing that the U.S. “will never again be able to tell the world that we are the paragon of democracy.”
“American democracy is obviously limping on both legs… The holiday of democracy is over. This is sadly a new low, I say this without a shadow of malice. America is no longer plotting a course and has thus lost all rights to set one, let alone impose it on others.”
“Be strong, Donald, we’re with you, the outside world will help you.”
— Dmitry Polyansky, deputy UN envoy (retweeted by the official account of Russia’s mission to the UN):
“Why do you call storming by protestors of U.S. Capitol ‘domestic terrorism’ and similar and much more bloody events in Kiev in 2014 ‘revolution of dignity’?”
— Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991 said in a statement:
"The storming of the capitol was clearly planned in advance, and it's obvious by whom."
Gorbachev did not clarify to whom he was referring.
The 89 year old also said that the events called into question the United States' continued existence as a nation.
AFP contributed reporting.
This story is being updated.