What were Putin's first words
Outrage in Russia over Biden
As if one did not want to attach great importance to the scandal: In the evening news of the state First Channel, Joe Biden's words about Vladimir Putin were in any case not a lead story. The presenter also avoided the term "murderer" when she announced the report on the controversial statement by the US president in an interview with the US broadcaster ABC. The article itself first dealt in detail with the new report by the US secret services about the alleged interference of the Russians in the US election. Only towards the end, almost incidentally, did the real excitement come up: "Do you think Vladimir Putin is a murderer?" asked the ABC moderator. "There" - so "yes", answered Joe Biden on the first channel in Russian translation.
Withdrawal of the Russian ambassador
But while state television did not want to conjure up the start of a new Cold War, at least on the same evening, the official reaction of the Russian government was far clearer. Immediately the return of the Russian ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov to Moscow was ordered. The official justification said the Kremlin wanted to "evaluate Joe Biden's first 100 days in office" and "find out how to resolve the difficult Russian-American relationship that has stalled Washington."
The Kremlin considers the US President's statements about Vladimir Putin to be "very bad". "I don't want to be verbose," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Biden wool "Definitely not improving relations with our country. We will assume that in the future." President Putin himself has meanwhile also commented on Biden; he wished him "health" and quoted a well-known Russian children's saying: "Whoever insults you is like that!"
"Political madness", "insult", "swear word rhetoric"
Other representatives of the ruling party "United Russia" expressed themselves with sometimes harsh words. General Secretary Andrei Turtschak considers Biden's "hideous and shameless" statement to be a "triumph of the political madness of the USA and the age-related dementia of its leader". You show "an extreme level of aggression".
Alexander Hinstein, chairman of the Duma committee on information policy, complained that even in the worst phases of the Cold War, none of the Western leaders "went to such a level of swearword rhetoric". "It feels like Biden is crazy," said Hinstein.
For State Duma spokesman Vyacheslav Volodin, Biden's words went "beyond common sense" and said they were "an insult to all Russians". Volodin warned that nobody should speak out about the Russian head of state in this way. According to him, US actions against Russia stem from a "hysteria of powerlessness" in Washington. He was also targeting recent US allegations that Russia interfered in the 2020 US presidential campaign.
Health wishes from Moscow: Russian President Putin
The chairman of the Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption, Vasily Piskarjow, has now turned the tables, claiming that Russian authorities have "irrefutable evidence of direct US interference" in the upcoming Russian parliamentary elections in September. Allegedly, American non-governmental organizations prepared instructions for influencing election campaigns and promoted appropriate "agents".
Biden hard of hearing? Hardly likely
Konstantin Kosachev, the vice-spokesman of the Russian Federation Council, of the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament, provided a very special explanation for Biden's statement. In his opinion, Biden could have simply misunderstood some interview questions: "In view of his age," says Kosachev, "I can imagine that in some cases he could not hear the question to the end and simply nodded in agreement would like to believe this ".
Dmitrij Oreschkin really doesn't want to believe in this theory. In an interview with DW, the independent Russian political scientist even thinks it is possible that the question about Putin was already discussed in the run-up to the interview: "The US president is not someone who happens to comment on something," said Oreschkin. "Of course he knew exactly what he was saying. And that was a clear signal to Putin." Oreshkin believes US-Russia relations are entering a new phase. "The Americans lose nothing," he believes. "But this is a serious problem for Putin."
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