French publication Charlie Hebdo has published cartoons of the crash of the Russian aircraft in Egypt. Russia's reaction followed immediately and it was sharply negative, of course. However, many Russian publications showed a strange reaction to the cartoons and started reprinting them.
"Is anyone still Charlie?" Maria Zakharova, an official spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry wrote on her Internet page.
The head of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, Mikhail Fedotov, said that it was sacrilege to publish cartoons that gloat over the deaths of 224 people who were killed in the air crash in Sinai. According to him, there are things that do not accept any jokes at all.
The chairwoman of the commission of the Public Chamber for the development of public diplomacy and support of compatriots abroad, Elena Sutormina, promised to send an appeal to the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Nils Muiznieks, as well as to international human rights organization Reporters Without Borders with a request to condemn Charlie Hebdo.
The Kremlin administration did not leave the news out of attention either. Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Moscow considered it inadmissible to publish such cartoons. "In our country, this is called sacrilege. This has no relation to either democracy or freedom of expression," Peskov said.
"However, let's not forget that this is a very small-circulation publication, a very controversial one, and many people do not even take it for a publication. However, such publications are absolutely out of place in our public system of coordinates, in our multinational multi-religious country," said Peskov.
It is an open secret that Charlie Hebdo has published such cartoons before. After the January shooting of the editorial staff of the magazine, we were told that this type of "creative work" was a long-standing French cultural tradition.
Noteworthy, it was reported on Wednesday that one of the leading Korean newspapers published cartoons to the same subject as well. Of course, the Korean newspaper did not receive as much attention as Charlie Hebdo did. The French magazine is much more famous for the January terrorist attack.
It is hard to understand why state-run TV channels or popular newspapers show the revolting French cartoons in their reports. These television channels and newspapers reach much bigger audiences than the French publication does.
Are you Charlie?