Scenes of the angry mob gathering on the steps of the Capitol before pouring into the building and overpowering security guards have been splashed across news websites and papers around the world. They also feature images of protesters sweeping through the halls of Congress, sitting at lawmakers’ desks and posing for photos, draped in pro-Trump flags and merchandise.
One British newspaper described the events as “Anarchy in the USA.” The headline on the left-leaning British “i” newspaper was sub-headed: “Trump incites thousands of protestors to storm the Capitol, saying ‘We will never concede.’” Meanwhile, the right-leaning The Times newspaper had the headline “U.S. Capitol under siege” as it detailed the chaotic scenes.
Both outlets, and other British newspapers, featured the arresting photograph of armed police barricading the door to the chamber of the House of Representatives.
The condemnation of Trump’s supporters’ behavior was across the board, with papers on both sides of the political spectrum criticizing the “mob,” and also outgoing President Donald Trump who had earlier urged his supporters to march on the Capitol and had repeated his unfounded claims that the election was lost due to voter fraud.
Other news networks and news sites, including Sky News, led their coverage summarizing the loss of life and arrests made overnight. Sky’s headline stating: “Riot at US Capitol: Four dead as outrage grows over Trump-inspired mob’s storming of Congress” detailing that 52 arrests had been made.
Global leaders were quick to deplore the chaotic scenes in Washington with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling the protest “disgraceful” and French President Emmanuel Macron tweeting a more defiant “We believe in democracy.”
Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted that “the enemies of democracy will be happy to see these incredible pictures from #WashingtonDC” and that “the disdain for democratic institutions is devastating.”
The pictures of disorder in the U.S. have certainly not been lost on countries like Russia and China, which have tense relationships with the U.S.
Most Russian news outlets led jointly with Christmas messages (Thursday is Christmas Day for Orthodox Christians) and mass coverage of the “political crisis in the United States,” as one tabloid, Komsomolskaya Pravda, put it.
Russia’s government-owned daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta led its online rolling coverage on the “chaos” in Washington next to comment from Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, who said that the events “showed that American democracy was limping on both legs and the United States lost the right to impose a course on other countries.”