Skip to navigationSkip to content
A flock of ducklings scramble in their shelter at a poultry farm in Doazit, Southwestern France, December 17, 2015. France has detected the first cases of low pathogenic H5N3 bird flu and found more cases of highly infectious strains in an outbreak of the disease in the southwest of the country. The outbreak is affecting France's main foie gras producing region just before demand peaks over the year-end holiday season, although the authorities have stressed there is no evidence that bird flu can be transmitted to humans via food. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1Z58Q
Reuters/Regis Duvignau
Did anyone ask the duckling?
TWITPLOMACY

Allow Russia’s embassy in London to tell you how it feels about the US expelling 35 Russian diplomats

Hanna Kozlowska
By Hanna Kozlowska

Investigative reporter

In a perfect summary of the political discourse of 2016, the Russian embassy in London is mocking US president Barack Obama with an emoji-filled tweet and a picture of an adorable duckling, cruelly stamped with the word “LAME.” The post—a reference to Obama’s “lame duck” period in office—was in reaction to a harsh set of US sanctions against Russia, announced Dec. 29.

Hitting back against Russian efforts to sway the US election, the Obama administration today expelled 35 Russian intelligence operatives and diplomats from the country, announced it was shutting down two Russian compounds and imposed sanctions on two of Russia’s intelligence services. Obama also said that US diplomats in Moscow had been under an “unacceptable level of harassment” from Russian secret services.

The Russian embassy in London has been consistently trolling the US on Twitter over the past month:

The Russian embassy in the US is sadly less imaginative:

US president-elect Donald Trump, who has dismissed reports of Russian hackers swaying the election, will face a tough call on how to proceed once he is inaugurated in January. Asked about the possibility of new sanctions on Dec. 28, before today’s sanctions, he responded, “We ought to get on with our lives.”

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.