Russian officials on Thursday pointed to the storming of the US Capitol as evidence of America’s decline, with one saying it showed US democracy was “limping on both feet”.
After the stunning events in Washington, many in Moscow said the United States was no longer in any position to lecture other countries on freedom and democracy.
Under banners reading “Storm of the Capitol” and “Chaos in Washington”, Russian state television showed rolling images of mobs of Donald Trump supporters breaking down barricades and swarming the building, as security forces fired tear gas and police drew guns inside.
“The losing side has more than enough grounds to accuse the winner of falsifications — it is clear that American democracy is limping on both feet,” Konstantin Kosachyov, the chair of the Russian upper house’s foreign affairs committee, said in a post on Facebook.
“The celebration of democracy has ended. It has, unfortunately, hit rock bottom, and I say this without a hint of gloating.
“America no longer charts the course and so has lost all right to set it. And, even more so, to impose it on others.”
Moscow has long bristled at US criticism of the state of Russian democracy under President Vladimir Putin, accusing Washington of hypocrisy and condescension.
Russian commentators gleefully pointed to Trump’s refusal to recognise the results of November’s election, and growing divisions in the United States, as evidence of the country’s decline.
The Kremlin has been accused of fostering those divisions with a campaign of interference and disinformation, including alleged attempts to disrupt the 2016 election in Trump’s favour that prompted an FBI investigation.
With Russians celebrating Orthodox Christmas on Thursday there was no immediate reaction from the Kremlin or foreign ministry.