The international dispute between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine (and other differences) has now gotten personal, with a Kremlin official tweeting a photo of Barack Obama holding a poodle up against Russian president Vladimir Putin petting a leopard, The Daily Mail is reporting.
We have different values and allies pic.twitter.com/aJ1312jJNx
— Dmitry Rogozin (@DRogozin) July 31, 2014
The tweet comes amidst an escalating war of words (see this Inquisitr article) between Russia and the West. The U.S. recently announced sanctions against Russia, according to The Telegraph, in response to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17, which many Western governments believe was brought down by pro-Russian rebels, reportedly armed by the Kremlin, in Ukraine.
The identity of the dog Obama is holding is unclear as of this post; the First Family has two dogs, Bo and Sunny, according to Whitehouse.gov, neither of which is a white poodle (they are both Portuguese Water Dogs). The Telegraph (U.K.) reports that the Obama photo dates to his 2002 Senate run. Putin’s leopard, on the other hand, is an endangered Persian leopard; Putin was photographed petting the animal shortly before the 2012 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Dmitri Rogozin, the Kremlin official who sent the tweet, has been engaged in a social media campaign in support of Putin and Russia, according to The Telegraph. Earlier, he tweeted a 45-minute Youtube video about the history of a Russian tank.
Putin, who tightly controls Russian media, has been using the media to cultivate an image of strength and virility, according to The Telegraph, producing images of Putin riding shirtless atop a horse, or hugging a polar bear.
The tweet, which has been retweeted over a thousand times, according to the Daily Mail, has already generated response, including some parody tweets.
User Rachel Savage (@rachelmsavage) pointed out Russia’s apparent short-term memory problems, tweeting this picture of Putin showing love to a puppy:
— Rachel Savage (@rachelmsavage) August 1, 2014
And user Eric S (@goodbrain) used the tweet to poke a little fun:
— Erik S (@GoodBrain) August 1, 2014
What do you think? Was the Kremlin’s tweet mocking Obama in poor taste? Are silly pictures fair game in the world of international politics? Let us know in the Comments.
Image courtesy of: The Telegraph