NEWS & ANALYSIS

Sunday Times' story slanderous nonsense - Russian Embassy

Alexander Kulyaev says it is ridiculous to claim his govt could be interfering in domestic affairs of a sovereign state

Embassy’s Comment on the Article «How Putin had a hand in Cabinet reshuffle» (Sunday Times)

We took note of the article «From Russia with love: How Putin had a hand in Cabinet reshuffle» by a collective of authors (Mzilikazi Wa Afrika, Thanduxolo Jika, Sabelo Skiti) published on 22 October 2017 in Sunday Times.

We are highly disappointed to see yet another example of sensationalism and Fake News in South African press, especially, in an evident attempt to emulate the worst kind of groundless anti-Russian attacks by some of the global mainstream media.

We consider this slanderous piece, which is (as usual) based entirely on hearsay and unnamed «sources» information, unfit for a serious publication such as Sunday Times claims to be. One could speculate that only a desperate craving for extra publicity could force a once reputable outlet resort to tabloid-grade methods.

Speaking of quality standards and basic 101 rules of investigative journalism, at no point in time was the Embassy contacted for a comment or verification on the matter.

The Embassy is completely unaware of any high-level Russian delegation coming to South Africa last week. Apparently, either these anonymous «sources» (if they do exist) know more than we do, or they live in some alternate reality…

More importantly, the very notion that Russia could be interfering in domestic affairs of other sovereign states, – and in such blatant manner no less – is plain ridiculous, goes contrary to fundamental principles of Russia’s foreign policy.

It is our firm belief that such sensationalist articles can only achieve a short-term gain in «Internet clicks» but will result in the long run in loss of trust by the readership and South African public.

Statement issued by Alexander Kulyaev, Press-attaché of the Russian Embassy in South Africa, 23 October 2017