Picture a U.S. diplomat being brazenly beaten up by a Russian Secret Security Service agent.
Sound like a scene from a Tom Clancy novel? Guess again. This attack happened just last week–and defines the “new normal” for Russia’s increasingly hostile provocations of American officials abroad.
In 2009, the Obama Administration promised a “reset” of American-Russian relations, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton physically presented a big red button to Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov to celebrate this momentous occasion in international politics.
Fast forward to the present day, and American-Russian relations have deteriorated to their worst levels since the Cold War.
This recent brazen attack of a U.S. diplomat on the steps of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow marks just how far U.S.-Russian relations have sank. Originally, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that the U.S. diplomat punched a Russian police officer after he was stopped and asked for identification.
However, video of the incident shows that her statement was a lie. The diplomat was tackled to the ground after exiting a taxi mere feet from the embassy’s doors, and had to fight to reach the safety of the building while the Russian FSB officer continued clawing at him. The diplomat’s elbow was so severely shattered by a Russian FSB officer that he required an immediate airlift out of Russia for medical attention.
It is incomprehensible why the Obama Administration hasn’t condemned this brazen attack–especially since it was caught on camera–and demanded justice on behalf of all Americans.
However, as recently outlined by the Washington Post, this attack is just one part of a much larger trend of intimidation against U.S. diplomatic officials across Europe. American diplomats have come home to find windows broken, their furniture rearranged, or all of their lights turned on. Other reports document a murdered family dog, and another official reported that someone defecated on their carpet.
In Russia, the situation is even more dire. U.S. diplomats frequently find their tires slashed, or are harassed by traffic police. Russian agents show up uninvited to U.S. diplomat families’ social events, and been seen brazenly stalking American officials and their families.
However, the only repercussions Russia has faced for this atrocious state-sponsored attack was the expulsion of two Russian diplomats stationed in Washington, DC. This response, in light of how brazen both the attack and the lies to cover it up were, was sorely lacking.
Russia no longer feels any obligation to recognize American authority. From their annexation of Crimea, to their military’s intimidation tactics including buzzing U.S. warships and aircraft, and now this recent and shocking attack against a US diplomat, we must demand an administration that protects the safety and security of all Americans.
It is time to stand up to the hostility of Vladimir Putin. This aggression can no longer be tolerated.