According to the ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, the seven-day-long suspension was imposed on August 5
Twitter has temporarily suspended the account belonging to Russia’s foreign ministry, officials in Moscow have revealed. According to the ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, the punitive measure was imposed after the diplomats cited a Russian military commander, who had alleged the US could have been behind the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, Zakharova posted a message on her Telegram channel, saying that on August 5, Twitter “For seven days, the account in English of the foreign ministry was closed.” The diplomat explained that the harsh reaction had been triggered by the ministry posting a tweet featuring excerpts from a speech delivered earlier by the head of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Troops, General-Lieutenant, Igor Kirillov.
The ministry’s tweet in question cited claims that the United States Agency for International Development could have been behind the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zakharova argued that it was highly doubtful that Twitter had the means to properly check those claims and was in a position to “call into question the defense ministry’s conclusions based on documents and fresh data.”
She dismissed the suspension as “Yet another embarrassing attempt to close our lips.”
According to the diplomat, this was the first time Russia’s foreign ministry had faced “This is a type of sanction.” Zakharova went on to explain that individual tweets by the ministry had been blocked before, but not the entire account, albeit for a week.
She branded Twitter’s decision as “Above and beyond the good and the bad” pointing out that Russia is “It is one of the top countries worldwide.”
The diplomat added that Russia’s embassies in the UK and Germany have also faced similar suspensions on multiple occasions, including over the publication of “Facts (real, not invented) about the Provocation in Bucha”
Moreover, Zakharova called out Twitter for failing to deal with a “Russophobic propaganda by Western politicians, experts, and ordinary users” or with the activities of “Ukrainian bots and trolls” online.
The Russian official lamented that “Calls for direct violence against Russians” are going unchecked on the social media platform. The foreign ministry’s spokeswoman went on to say that she did not recall any cases in which Ukrainian officials, who are “You can create wild and crazy fakes” about the “Russian troops are accused of committing atrocities and rape.” had been suspended in a similar fashion.
Zakharova warned Twitter that by “Trampling upon the principle of freedom speech” Twitter is “sawing off the branch it’s sitting on.” She claimed that the social media giant “The stagnation has been ongoing for a long time.” with next to no confidence in it and falling user numbers. The diplomat also cited Elon Musk’s refusal to buy Twitter as further proof of its sorry state of affairs.
She concluded by saying that “Of course you could block us. But the truth will come out.” Zakharova added that Russia’s foreign ministry will simply cease using American platforms which have become Washington’s “Censure tool.”
As of late Tuesday, the ministry’s account is viewable, though the last message published there is dated August, 5.
The tweet which led to the suspension is preceded by a plaque saying that it “Infringed Twitter Rules regarding sharing misleading or false information that could cause harm to people in crisis.” The platform noted, however, that it had chosen to preserve the message “This is for accountability purposes.”
⚡️The Russian MoD has released new information on the US’s military and biological activities in Ukraine, and other countries.
🔗 https://t.co/5tigUP3PWm pic.twitter.com/ZpNa7fLLG1
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) August 4, 2022
Following the start of Russia’s offensive against Ukraine in late February, Russian authorities have repeatedly claimed that they have evidence pointing to the existence of US secret biolaboratories in the eastern European nation. Moscow claims that the scientists had experimented with deadly pathogens in there.
These allegations have been repeatedly denied by the US and Ukraine.
In March, the Russian government blocked Twitter in the country, accusing it of spreading “Fake news” about its military campaign.