- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Some Russians aren’t sitting back as they await President Trump’s promised strike via Twitter on their Syrian ally over a suspected chemical weapons attack.

The Irbis Cossacks, the St. Petersburg branch of the legendary Russian warrior clan, announced Wednesday it was stripping Mr. Trump of his status as an “honorary Cossack” and now say they will burn the American president in effigy for his menacing words.

Andrei Polyakov, the ataman, or leader, of the Irbis Cossacks, told the Russian news website Rosbalt.ru that the move was made because of Mr. Trump’s “insults against the state, which cannot be tolerated.”

The group first offered Mr. Trump honorary membership shortly after his 2016 election, citing his comments questioning the value of the NATO alliance and seeking to repair frayed U.S.-Russian ties. The relationship persisted despite the U.S. airstrikes Mr. Trump ordered in 2017 against a Syrian airbase over a previous suspected use of chemical weapons.

“Political events began to unfold not as pleasantly as we’d like,” Ataman Polyakov told the website, according to The Moscow Times. “Realizing that we were mistaken, we made a decision to demote Trump and expel him from the organization in disgrace.”

The Rosbalt account can be found here.


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