RUSSIA: Russia's ministry of foreign affairs was not amused by the unorthodox statement from the US State Department under the title "President Putin's Fiction: 10 False Claims About Ukraine," which purported to rebut a series of assertions by Vladimir Putin in the eye-catching format of a top-10 list.
The foreign ministry's own statements have an ornate formal tone, garnished with thick irony and rhetorical flourishes, and this casual treatment of the Russian president's words in the State Department list, released Wednesday, must have been jarring.
A ministry spokesman, Alexander K Lukashevich, provided an angry five-paragraph response on Thursday afternoon, calling the list "shocking, not as much for its primitive distortion of reality as its cynicism and overt 'double standards.'"
"The State Department is trying to play on a shamelessly one-sided interpretation of events, as if there was not plentiful evidence of atrocities committed by radical nationalists, including the massacre of inconvenient people captured on video cameras, or the murder by provocateur snipers," the statement said, adding that "we will not stoop to debate with low-grade propaganda."
It went on to catalogue nine past interventions by the United States and NATO, stretching from the 1958 invasion of Lebanon to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, making the case that Washington "doesn't and can't have the moral right to lecture us about compliance of international norms."
Detailed and grisly descriptions of past US interventions, nearly every one deeply unpopular with Soviet and Russian people, have become a dominant theme in Russian reporting on Ukraine and its Russian-populated Crimean Peninsula.
"Nevertheless, they dare to reproach Russia for 'armed aggression' when she stands up for her countrymen, who constitute the majority of the Crimean people, so as to prevent ultranationalist forces from arranging another bloody 'Maidan,'" the statement continued, referring to the mayhem last month in Independence Square, or Maidan, in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital.
The statement concluded with observations on the United States that could have easily come from a psychoanalyst - not unlike any number of recent Western commentaries on Putin.
"They cannot get over it, and come to terms with the fact that they cannot always dictate their will and act in their customary role of 'infallible judge,' which is followed by - the last word," it said. "Their nerves are giving out, but that is no reason to thrust guilt on the innocent."