• Shilling for a Living: Public Diplomacy in Russia

    September 6, 2013

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State

    Wow, Russia.

    ‘Lot going on there, Obama attending the G-20, what with Russia taking in NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russian support for the other side in Syria, the famous Obama-Putin sourpuss photos, why, golly, you’d figure America’s public diplomacy warriors at Embassy Moscow would be busy, busy, busy seeking out Russian hearts and minds to influence.

    Instead, those diplomatic warriors are seeking Russian stomachs to fulfill with America’s last domestically-made product, junk food. Shilling for a living, one of our best, Joseph Kruzich, is pictured to the left. He posted on his Facebook page:

    Krispy Kreme doughnuts have arrived in Moscow. We had some at the American Embassy in Moscow yesterday. Delicious!

    And oh yes, he did add the final exclamation point. Oh yes.

    Kruzich, who as a slim man makes a poor advocate for the goodness of America’s toxic junk food to the stout Russians, also apparently like potato chips. Here’s another terse Facebook post. He posted in Russian but here’s the Google version:

    Today is the birthday of potato chips! Credited with creating the popular snack is American chef George Crumb, who invented the chip this day 160 years ago. The finely chopped crisp was for a disgruntled restaurant customer at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, who said the french fries were cut too thick.

    Nobody commented on the fact that the inventor of the potato chip was surnamed “Crumb,” so I will. Also, it is not at all certain that Crumb was even the inventor. Facts, meh, it’s social media!

    And oh yes, I did add the final exclamation point. Oh yes.

    Kruzich also seems to have a habit of reposting a lot of his boss’ stuff, but that is really just part of the overall job of a foreign service officer, so no points off for that. And to be fair, shilling for promoting American products abroad is indeed one of those things America’s diplomats are told to do, whether it is Boeing 747s or the ever-popular F-16s we sell to various thugs and dictators, for freedom.

    …or is it?

    Perhaps Kruzich is… more clever, shall we say, more cunning, than we give him credit for? While Putin plays checkers, sticking his thumb in Obama’s eye and then moving on, perhaps Kruzich is playing chess (also a Russian fave) The long game here may be to slowly choke the Russian people to death on American-infiltrated cholesterol, until, gasping with strokes and heart attacks, they realize that you just. don’t. mess. with the U.S.

    Well played young diplomat, well played.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Krispy Kreme is the story of the War Party policy: the public had an appetite for one or two but after that it can’t stand the shit.

      09/6/13 12:24 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...


      How sad

      09/6/13 1:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      FSO comrade Kruzich looks vulnerable in that lonely room, surrounded by all those donuts. Talk about a sugar spike

      Apparently, Krispy Kreme partnered with a famous Russian restauranteer, Arkady Novikov, sometimes called the Food Tsar. He is partnering on 40 franchises with Krispy Kreme in Moscow, maybe St Petersburg too. Novikov has wined and dined various world leaders at his restaurants, including ex Pres Clinton. Dunkin Donuts is also there, this being their second try in Russia. The first time they entered the market was a bad time.

      Krispy Kreme pales in comparison to the local versions, like ponchiki or versions from the various cultures that made up the old soviet union like tatarstani chok-chok or baursak from kazakhstan and kirghyzstan — far less icky sweet and more delicious, especially when fresh from the oven of someone who baked them with kindness and good wishes for you

      09/6/13 10:46 PM | Comment Link

    • Helen Marshall said...


      The best one now is shilling for the fracking industry, via the “Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program,”
      which other countries are eligible for if they pass the geopolitical suitability test. Otherwise known as the “Let’s Strangle Russia and Iran and other irritants” program.

      So we go around the world telling everyone how wonderful, safe, and liberating fracking is. And you wonder if Obama will approve the Keystone pipeline, or allow fracking on federal lands.

      Sleep tight.

      09/7/13 1:01 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      From Joseph Kruzich’s Facebook page, here’s a photo of one of his Russian Facebook friends, Lydumilla:


      I wonder if Dale Eppler introduced her to him?

      09/8/13 3:36 AM | Comment Link

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