President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that enacted punishing sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea over their behavior in recent months.
Russia was none too happy about this. The country’s official Twitter page posted an incredibly bizarre response to the signing of the sanctions.
“Whoever comes to us with sanctions, from sanctions will perish. We dedicate this video to those who try to hurt us with new sanctions!” read the tweet.
Now, that text sounds like a pretty dramatic threat, but the video posted with it kind of makes you think whoever was behind it had done too many vodka shots.
The video is footage from a renaissance fair, with some pretty loud rock music playing in the background. The video features people swinging swords at each in mock tournaments, children on swings and girls smiling at the camera.
Russian officials haven’t been shy about their dissatisfaction.
Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev decried the sanctions, which President Donald Trump signed into law on Wednesday as basically a “full-scale trade war,” according to Reuters. He emphasized on Facebook that President Trump demonstrated his powerlessness by signing into law the more stringent sanctions with which the president says he disagrees.
“The hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished,” Medvedev wrote.
If those statements left any doubt about whether Russia and the U.S. could maintain warm relations, this latest wound via Twitter has vanquished any remaining uncertainty.
The medieval imagery in the video is pretty strange, but the accompanying music really drives home whatever point about Russia’s might and strength of spirit they’re trying to make. The song, called “Slavic Sky” — or “The Sky of Slavs” — (Небо славян) is performed by the Russian hard rock band Alisa (Алиса). The band has become known for its strong Christian influence and overt Russian nationalistic themes. The lyrics to the song, as well as the scenes of physical strength depicted in the video of the folk festival, bring to mind outdated notions of idealized Russian serfdom in which Russian peasants were often seen as rugged, noble people of humble means.
Here are a few translated lines:
Beyond the hilltop, axes clash
And fiercely strike upon helmets.
And the indigenous mercenaries in their chain mail
Sing patriotically in Russian.
And from the plains to the stars
As far as the eye can see — The White Army stands.
Here, in our native land
We will die.
If Russia was trying to intimidate us, they failed quite miserably (again). The country has real capabilities, of course, but footage of weirdos jousting each other isn’t exactly the greatest deterrent in the world.
The entire thing is just bizarre, and many commentators wondered exactly what this video was supposed to mean, or roundly mocked the Russians for posting such an off-the-wall video.
“We need to hit them where it hurts: Their renaissance fairs,” one wrote.
“Video is actually from Russian Army training after they defeated sanctions by using swords instead of guns. Swords don’t need bullets,” read another.
While that official Twitter account of Russia may have had a rather strange reaction, the response from high-level Russia officials to the sanctions legislation was less strange — they were just straight up mad.
“The Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way,” wrote Dmitry Medvedev, the Russia prime minister, on Twitter.
Well, Mr. Medvedev, try not attempting to interfere in our elections, and maybe you won’t have sanctions slapped against your country. You ever think of that?
Russia has already retaliated for the sanctions by ordering U.S. Embassy staff in Russia reduced and taking other measures on the diplomatic front, but it’s doubtful that Russia would take any sort of military action against the United States for these sanctions.
However, we probably should all be on the lookout for Russia knights with swords, just in case.
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