Senior Russian politicians on Thursday suggested an “archaic” US electoral system that falls short of democratic standards, and the politicization of the media was to blame for the unrest in Washington, DC and divisions in the country.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump on Wednesday was “an internal United States affair”, but that the fault lay with the political configuration of the country.
“The electoral system in the United States is archaic, it does not meet modern democratic standards, which creates opportunities for many violations, and the American media has become an instrument of political struggle,” Zakharova told news agencies Russian.
“This is largely the reason for the company split now seen in the United States.”
Under headlines such as “Capitol Storm” and “Chaos in Washington,” Russian state television showed rolling footage of crowds of Trump supporters destroying barricades and invading the Congress building, as security forces were firing tear gas and police fired guns inside.
The US Congress officially certified President-elect Joe Biden despite the riot, but many in Moscow have said the astonishing events exposed the country’s democratic failures.
On November 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin himself said there were “problems in the American electoral system” as a result of the US presidential vote, which Trump has repeatedly and baselessly claimed to have been rigged.
Moscow has long bristled with American criticism of the state of Russian democracy under Putin, accusing Washington of hypocrisy and condescension.
“This [election process in the US] certainly doesn’t give anyone the right to point out flaws in other political systems, including in electoral legislation, ”Putin said.
The Kremlin itself has been accused of furthering division in the United States with a campaign of interference and disinformation, including alleged attempts to disrupt the 2016 election in favor of Trump which sparked an FBI investigation.
Meanwhile, commenting on the Capitol riots, Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the Russian upper house’s foreign affairs committee, said in a Facebook post: Democracy is limping on both feet.
“The celebration of democracy is over. Unfortunately, he has hit rock bottom, and I say that without the slightest jubilation.
“America is no longer setting the course and has therefore lost all right to set it. And, even more, to impose it on others.
Leonid Slutsky, the chief of foreign affairs in the lower house, said the United States “cannot now impose electoral standards on other countries and claim to be the ‘beacon of democracy’ in the world.”
He told Russian news agencies that Washington was suffering after promoting “color revolutions” around the world, such as the anti-Moscow uprisings in Ukraine and Georgia and the recent protests in Belarus.
“The boomerang of color revolutions is turning against the United States,” Slutsky said. “All of this threatens to turn into a crisis in the American system of power.”
Anton Gorelkin, a lower house telecommunications committee lawmaker, praised Twitter and Facebook for suspending Trump’s accounts, a move he said underscored the need for social media companies to control harmful content.
“Social networks must operate according to strict rules within a legal framework. Because absolute freedom of information becomes a weapon in the hands of extremists, ”he posted on his Telegram channel.
The United States and other Western countries have repeatedly condemned Russia for its measures to tighten controls on social media.
But Moscow says the United States cynically uses these claims to continue their agenda and maintain their global position.
Tensions between Cold War-era rivals have reached new heights in recent years, with US sanctions imposed on Russian officials, disputes over arms control treaties and US accusations of serious Russian hacking attacks .