Peppery rhetoric has been fueling the fire [of diplomatic upset between Russia and the U.S.]. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called Russia’s defense of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “despicable”, and her spokesman dismissed the country as “back in the USSR.” Russia’s state- backed Pravda newspaper responded by using the acronym “FUKUS” to describe its main United Nations opponents on Syria –France, the U.K. and the U.S.