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Russian Defense Ministry comments on Charlie Hebdo's caricatures of Tu-154 crash

It is "humiliating for a normal person" to pay attention to caricatures on the Russian Tu-154 plane crash over the Black Sea published by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Russian Defense Ministry's official spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

"It is humiliating for a normal person to even pay attention to such a poorly-created abomination," Konashenkov said. "If such, I dare say, 'artistry' is the real manifestation of 'Western values', then those who hold and support them are doomed - at least to loneliness in the future," he added.

"It is not surprising that some of our 'compatriots' quieted down though they have just recently posed in selfies wearing 'Je suis Charlie' T-shirts," he noted.

French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo published several caricatures connected with Russia in its latest issue. The last issue of this year that has hit the shops today contains caricatures of the Russian Defense Ministry's Tu-154 plane crash in Sochi and of the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov.

This is not the first time that Charlie Hebdo has published controversial caricatures connected with Russia. In November 2015, the magazine published drawings on the Russian Kogalymavia's A321 plane crash in Egypt that killed 224 people. The caricature drew sharp criticism from Russia. Reacting to the emerging debate on the matter, the French Foreign Ministry said that the country's leadership has nothing to do with the activities of the magazine and that the employees of the weekly are free to express their own opinions. In October 2016, the magazine published caricatures of the opening of the Russian Orthodox Cultural Center in Paris.

In January 2015, terrorists attacked the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 people (10 employees of the magazine and two security officers) and injuring another 11. The terrorist attack prompted the "Je suis Charlie" movement in solidarity with the killed journalists and in support of the freedom of speech. The movement spread beyond France and across the world.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 28Dec16]

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