Despite Military Support, Assad Subjected to Further Ridicule in Russian Media

News of Russian foreign ministry official mocking Syrian president circulates through national media in most recent instance of Russian criticism of Assad regime

Russian media has repeatedly insulted the head of Syria’s regime, Bashar al-Assad, despite the broad political, financial and military support which the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin has supplied the regime and its forces.

It appears the two main positions published through Russian media are insulting Assad by describing him as bloody and as a dog’s tail. The Putin administration, as well as Russian officials and analysts know how desperately Assad needs them, while recently Russia has talked consistently in the regime’s name and made decisions for it, as with matters related to the negotiations with the Syrian opposition, or as with the reconciliation Russian generals are attempting to achieve with opposition factions inside Syria. In a recent report, Al-Souria Net revealed one of the communications Russians were carrying out with leaders of opposition forces, far removed the regime.

“Assad is Bloody”

The expression was used by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Sunday in her sarcastic comments on the results of the Eurovision contest, which was won by the Ukrainian performer Jamala with a song that talked of the era in which Stalin caused the expulsion and deaths of thousands of residents of Tatar descent.

The Kremlin-backed Russia Today website published the comments of the spokeswoman, who mocked: “I think someone ought to sing a song about Assad next year,” and gave some lyrics of a possible song:

“Assad’s bloody, Assad’s the worst. Give me the prize, so we can host.”

It seems that the statements of the Russian official were not merely fleeting, as the Russian news agency Sputnik published Zakharova’s comments, using the same expression, “Assad is bloody.” The use of this description by the Russian spokeswoman is unlikely to be solitary, especially given that her words represent the position of her country on issues she discusses.

Assad as a "Tail"

Earlier this year, Russian media had circulated a description by the head of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Religion, Society and Security Program, Alexey Malashenko, that Assad’s behavior was an example of “the tail trying to wag the dog,” and that he was trying to suggest to Moscow there could be no accord between it and the ruling regime in Syria without him.

This comment was made to the well known Russian newspaper Kommersant, which is close to the Russian administration, and was published in February 2016, about five months after the start of Russia’s military operations in Syria.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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