Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical paper, caused new controversies with its caricature which depicts a falling Russian plane, with the artist in the cabin singing ‘A-a-a-a’ and “The repertoire of the army choir is expanding.”
Russian Tu-154 crashed into the Black Sea, killing all 92 on board. 64 of 92 passengers on board were the members of Alexandrov ensemble choir, the official choir of the Russian armed forces. The members of the ensemble were travelling from Moscow to the Russian military base in Syria, where they were to take part in New Year celebrations.
Charlie Hebdo became infamous after the terrorist attack in Paris, in January 2015, when 12 people were murdered, including many journalists. The attack was a retaliation of Islamist groups after the paper published provocative caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.
However, this is not the first time Charlie Hebdo sparked controversy with its caricatures. Following the terrorist attack in which a Russian plane crashed in Egypt, Charlie published cartoons widely seen as mocking the victims of the tragedy.
Back in September, following the August Earthquake in Central Italy, French magazine caused new outrage by publishing cartoons depicting the victims of the earthquake as pasta dishes.
Reacting to new Charlie Hebdo caricature, Russian Defense Ministry’s official spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday:
It is humiliating for a normal person to even pay attention to such a poorly-created abomination. If such, I dare say, ‘artistry’ is the real manifestation of ‘Western values’, then those who hold and support them are doomed ― at least to loneliness in the future. It is not surprising that some of our ‘compatriots’ quieted down though they have just recently posed in selfies wearing ‘Je suis Charlie’ T-shirts.
Charlie’s second cartoon shows a falling plane and adds a description:
Bad news… Putin was not inside.
Caricatures mocking the victims of the plane crash also caused outrage on social networks.
While Charlie is well-known for its strong satirical language, many are wondering whether the magazine has crossed the line.