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Moscow mocks Obama with Donald Trump-style tweet

Commentary: Russia's embassy in the UK reacts to new sanctions against Moscow with, what else, a carping tweet.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Modern diplomacy.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Modern diplomacy has dipped a toe in the tweeting waters and decides it rather likes it.

It was Donald Trump who was first to show that you can toss diplomatic invective on Twitter and the world will take notice.

Who could forget his tweeted suggestion that global warming was a Chinese creation?

This surely stimulated his alleged allies in the Russian Embassy, UK branch, to use Twitter to express its own angry feelings.

The target? Current President Barack Obama. On Thursday, he expelled Russian intelligence personnel for allegedly interfering in the US election in order to tilt proceedings toward Trump.

In reaction, the embassy tweeted: "President Obama expels 35 diplomats in Cold War deja vu. As everybody, incl people, will be glad to see the last of this hapless Adm."

You might think this merely informative, or just a touch sniffy. But it was image accompanying this tweet that offered spittle by the gallons. It was of a duck, with the word "LAME" pasted over its chest.

Quibbling, technical sorts will point out that the image is actually of a duckling. Ergo, the Russians are accusing the president of being a lame duckling. Or perhaps a lame little duck.

It's still not quite the usual form of official reaction, which often involves calling ambassadors for a swift dressing down and perhaps a bottle of vodka.

Although political aficionados might remember Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev going rogue and banging his shoe on the table at the United Nations in 1960.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about its alleged quackery.

I fear, though, that now the trend is set. The minute the Trump administration does something Russia likes, its embassies will offer their support on Twitter. "Lion Trump," perhaps.

But perish the idea that the president-elect, say, creates a new nuclear arms race. Within minutes, I suspect the Russians will tweet at him with epithets such as "Lying Trump," "Trump is chump" or "Donald is not Ronald."

You surely don't expect modern Twitter diplomacy to have subtleties, do you?