Russians Slam 'Charlie Hebdo' Plane Crash Caricatures on Social Media

Associated Press

Some call the weekly's staff "bastards" and "moral degenerates" as the hashtag "I'm not Charlie" trends in the country.

Don't expect some Russians to hold up "Je Suis Charlie" signs any time soon. To the contrary...

The recent publication by the French satirical weekly of caricatures related to the Oct. 31 crash of a Russian plane, which killed 234 people, enraged a slew of social media users in the country.

One caricature features plane debris and corpses falling on someone looking like an Arab terrorist, and the caption says: "Daech: Russian aviation has stepped up bombardments." Daech is the French word for ISIS.

"Charlie are monsters who have no soul or respect for other people's suffering," the user of the handle Alexei Frolov said on Russian social network VKontakte.

"The problem of moral degenerates from Charlie is not in their attitude towards religion, but in their cynicism and total immorality," a user with the name rika_66 said on livejournal.com

Many local users said "I'm not Charlie" or "Is someone else here still Charlie?" on their accounts, publishing links to the caricatures.

A meme, in which the phrase "Je suis Charlie" is crossed out and "I'm not Charlie" is added in Russian and French, has been spreading on  social media, as well as a hashtag saying in Russian "I'm not Charlie."

Some users took a more balance stand, defending Charlie Hebdo.

"True, in Russia, it is uncommon to turn events that we consider tragic into material for satire," film critic Anton Dolin said on his Facebook account. "But in our country, because of various kinds of censorship, political caricature has never existed at all."

"You don't read Charlie Hebdo, and their humor isn't close or interesting to you?" he added. "Okay, no problem. Don't read them and don't get indignant. Are they imposing themselves on you?"

 

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