State Department Uses “Selfie” Diplomacy To Take On Russia
The State Department is responding to the massive buildup of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border by posting a selfie demonstrating their support for Ukraine, and hoping that the move will prevent Russia from invading Ukraine. The selfie was posted by State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
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Russian leader Vladmir Putin sent in troops and tanks to invade neighboring Ukraine and the Obama administration is coming to the rescue with .?.?. selfies!
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was mocked Thursday after posting a photo of herself on Twitter holding a sign that read #UnitedForUkraine @StateDeptSpox.”
— Jen Psaki (@statedeptspox) March 26, 2014
Psaki, who has worked closely with President Obama since his 2008 campaign and is the chief communications adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry, is smiling and giving a thumbs-up in the photo.
But the cheerleading for beleaguered Ukraine wasn’t trending or scaring off bully Putin, said critics in the blogosphere.
“Presenting The Latest US Strategy to Counter ‘Russian Aggression,’?” a snarky blogger posted on zerohedge.com. “#Selfies!”
Critics said the photo from America’s chief diplomatic perch was embarrassing.
“No wonder Putin covers his mouth when speaking to Obama, perhaps to hide his laugh?” wrote another blogger.
“How flippin’ sad has the USA become?” wondered a third critic.
Psaki defended her photo.
“The people of Ukraine are fighting to have their voices heard and the benefit of communicating over social media is it sends a direct message to the people that we are with them, we support their fight, their voice and their future,” she said.
World leaders and Congress tried to provide Ukraine with more than selfie support Thursday to help contain the Russian Bear.
The International Monetary Fund pledged up to $18 billion in loans to Ukraine and the UN voted overwhelmingly to condemn the Russian-sponsored vote in Crimea that drove it toward the Kremlin.
For its part, Congress approved harsher sanctions against Russia.
Yet even with such intensive help to prop up Ukraine’s teetering economy, its prime minister warned of painful times ahead to implement economic reforms.