Russia’s controversial space chief Dmitry Rogozin said Facebook suspended his account for a day after he got into an angry exchange with Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow.
“My account was banned for a day, because my post allegedly violates the norms of the community,” he told Russian media agencies on January 24.
As tens of thousands of Russians across the country took to the streets on January 23 to call for the release of jailed Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny despite threats of arrest, McFaul took to Twitter to post about the event and express his views.
McFaul praised the bravery of Russians protesting against President Vladimir Putin, drawing the ire of many Russians, including Rogozin, who tried to make comparisons with the law enforcement response to the storming of the Capitol in Washington on January 6.
Rogozin said the United States should first deal with its own problems before giving advice to other countries. He also accused the United States of interfering in Russia, without giving any evidence.
Rogozin made a similar remark on Facebook, for which he was banned. His comments were taken down.
In a response to another individual on Twitter making a similar remark, McFaul said the events in Russia and those in Washington were completely different.
“Those who stormed the Capitol used violence to try to overturn a free and fair election. Russians today protested peacefully for the right to have a free and fair election and other universal rights. The differences could not be more stark,” he said.
Rogozin later accused McFaul of trying to get him blocked on Twitter.
McFaul replied that he supported Rogozin’s right to express his views on social media and lamented that Russia kicked him out for doing just that while serving as ambassador. Rogozin replied, claiming the United States did the same thing to him.
“The U.S. government sanctioned you as Russian government official because your government annexed Crimea, breaking international laws and norms. Your government sanctioned me as a private citizen for tweeting. There’s a difference,” McFaul told Rogozin.