In a letter posted on Saturday, the Russian embassy condemned Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung over a caricature of the 69-year-old Russian leader wearing a red clown nose with a rainbow streak running across the left side of his face.
The newspaper’s article, titled “Between Superheroes and Villains: The Power of Memes in the Ukraine War,” also depicted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dressed in a Captain America-like suit holding a shield with a sunflower – Ukraine’s national flower – painted on the front.
Although the article and caricature were first published on July 9, the Russian embassy did not respond until one week later.
In the letter, addressed to NZZ editor Eric Gujer, the embassy expressed that they were “outraged” over the “insulting caricature of the President of the Russian Federation.”
The Russian embassy also threatened to sue the Swiss newspaper for defamation and slander.
“We believe that freedom of expression is in no way compatible with the freedom to disseminate insults and fakes,” the Russian embassy wrote.
“If we are speaking about clownery, it would be much more appropriate to touch on this topic in the context of the recent past of the former Ukrainian comedian V. Zelensky,” the embassy added.
The letter also explained that Putin “is a deeply religious Orthodox person” and that he “advocates the preservation of traditional Christian values in Russian society (and he is clearly not a fan of the LGBT community).”
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, this is just the latest incident in which Russia had to speak out after their leader was publicly mocked.
Last month, while the members of G7 met in Germany to discuss the war in Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joked about Putin’s penchant for being photographed without a shirt on.
After Putin found out about the incident, he fired back at the members of G7 while speaking to reporters in Turkmenistan.
“I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist,” Putin said after Johnson suggested they take a photograph, like Putin, without their shirts on. “But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”
“Everything in a person should be harmonious: both body and soul,” the Russian despot added, “but for that to happen it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.”