BREAKING NEWS Anderson Police arrest convicted arsonist for new incident Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Expulsion of Russian diplomats comes at delicate time for Moscow

The United States and the European Union closed ranks behind Britain Monday, announcing the ...

Posted: Mar 26, 2018 5:58 PM
Updated: Mar 26, 2018 5:58 PM

The United States and the European Union closed ranks behind Britain Monday, announcing the expulsion of Russian diplomats in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

But the news comes as Russia mourns the deaths of dozens in a blaze in a shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo Sunday.

It's an extremely delicate domestic political moment for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently sailed to a re-election victory in a March 18 vote: He's expected to deliver on promises of change to improve the lives of ordinary Russians. And it's also a touchy moment for US and European officials, as they ratchet up confrontation with Moscow.

European Council President Donald Tusk nodded to those sensitivities following a statement announcing the expulsion of Russian diplomats in response to the country's alleged role in the poisoning of former Russia agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

"We remain critical of the actions of the Russian government," Tusk said, adding in Russian: "Today we Europeans -- together with the Russian people -- mourn the victims of the tragic fire in the city of Kemerovo in Western Siberia. Our thoughts and hearts are with you."

Whether such sentiments reach ordinary Russians is another matter. Russia's state-dominated media have cast the Skripal case as an anti-Russian conspiracy, giving heavy coverage to officials who deny Russian involvement and condemning Britain's response as a "circus show."

On Sunday night, as news reports emerged of the Kemerovo fire, Russia's signature weekly news broadcast Vesti Nedeli dedicated considerably more time -- over 20 minutes -- to excoriating British politicians, while giving just over three minutes to the fire in Kemerovo.

Such coverage of the fire outraged some Russians, who posted angry comments on the Facebook page of Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

"Where is the media, TV, press services?" wrote one commenter, who identified herself as Victoria Tamarova. "They all forgot why they exist? -- a terrifying example of the fact that the entire TV programming is artificially made. The whole country is on 'the right diet' with 'the right news.' But there are limits!!"

For now, it remains to be seen how Russia will retaliate. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "The principle of reciprocity will be enforced" if the United States decides to expel Russian diplomats. How Russian media will respond remains to be seen.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3563578

Reported Deaths: 51953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119089421328
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2862912816
Orange2610223904
San Diego2596413271
Santa Clara1104221777
Kern102627826
Fresno952021443
Sacramento931801472
Alameda804961241
Ventura77534844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus56024946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38922515
San Francisco34213410
Santa Barbara31763409
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28063298
Imperial26888591
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15436209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12816185
Shasta10972174
Butte10941160
El Dorado9095100
Napa901469
Sutter884597
San Benito575959
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada395274
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador345741
Humboldt318033
Lake315341
Glenn222023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Chico
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 66°
Oroville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 65°
Chico
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 66°
Red Bluff
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 70°
Red Bluff
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 70°
Chico
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 66°
After a windy Saturday and fairly breezy Sunday, the wind we've had is weakening as the month of February comes to a close. We can expect a mostly clear first morning of March, followed by more clouds and mild air by the afternoon.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events