MOSCOW (AP) — Some mischievous fakery on Twitter has briefly caused a flare-up in already strained U.S.-Russian relations.
An Internet user mimicking U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul’s account tweeted that evidence of mass violations would undermine the legitimacy of Russia’s presidential election Sunday. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to win handily.
That tweet sparked indignant responses from, among others, Russian presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich.
The real McFaul hastily issued messages distancing himself from his disguised online doppelganger.
Dvorkovich tweeted his relief, but likely not before the damage was done.
Putin supporters have routinely accused the U.S. — and McFaul personally — of being behind the unprecedented protests against his rule.