On his way out of the White House, President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia. He expelled diplomats and confiscated two buildings, supposedly as retaliation for Russia meddling in the US presidential election - an allegation that is still devoid of any evidential support.
At the time, President Putin showed remarkable restraint and refrained from adopting the usual tit for tat tactic. However, the decision by Congress to impose even more sanctions has clearly persuaded Putin that it is at present impossible to normalise relations with the US. He has therefore finally decided to implement a tit for tat response to Obama's sanctions. He announced that the US must reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia to the same level as Russia's staff in the US and confiscated two buildings.
The US political-media elite are outraged. Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, absurdly characterised the Russian sanctions as unprovoked. CNN characterised Putin's sanctions as an act of aggression. Yet in the same article, CNN represents US sanctions as positive.
One has to wonder what is behind the outrage? Putin's response is nothing other than equality matching. The US and Russia will each have the same number of diplomatic staff in the other's country. Why would that bother the US? Why did the US need three times as many "diplomats" as Russia? Are Russian diplomats three times as efficient as American diplomats? No serious person thinks so. So, what were all those extra diplomats doing in Russia? I do not know, but my best guess would be what the US euphemistically calls democracy promotion, or more accurately would be called regime change operations or even meddling in elections, which is precisely what Russia is accused of doing. One might almost be forced to the conclusion that everyone in the US political-media elite has had an irony-by-pass-operation.