SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- On Monday, the United States and its allies opted to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his annexation of Crimea by ousting him from the Group of 8. The decision to expel Putin from this exclusive club of power players came amid increasing tensions with Russia’s continuing aggression against Ukraine, a crisis that came to its head last month. President Obama and several of the world’s leading economic superpowers banded together in a closed-door meeting during a nuclear security summit to plan their collective stance against Moscow. While they stopped short of imposing sanctions, world leaders demonstrated the gravity and breadth of their displeasure with Russia’s military mobilization to the Crimean Peninsula by unfriending Putin from their Facebook pages.
”Our intent is not to inflict hardships on the Russian people but to show their president that we are extremely upset with him,” a White House spokesperson said.
On Monday, President Obama and his G-8 colleagues took their fight to the social networks in a move analysts have called “devastating to Putin’s credibility in the global community” and a “Cold War rivalry more damaging to the former Soviet Union than Reagan’s arms race.”
Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, met with her foreign minister before completely unfriending Putin from her Facebook account this afternoon. British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper, followed suit, then blocked Putin from viewing even public posts.
Leaders from France and Italy did not officially unfriend Putin but created a special group on their accounts called “Imperialist Jackass,” of which Putin is the sole member. Press officials for those countries explained that in this group, Putin can see only those posts published specifically for him, which are mostly insults, unhappy emoticons and unflattering memes.
Japan’s prime minister also kept Putin in his friends list, with limited access, but changed his relationship status with Russia to “It’s Complicated.”
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