A map depicting the Russian territory of Kaliningrad divided up by Poland and Czechia, which was shared by a Polish Twitter user took off on the internet. It soon was shared by Czech politician Tomáš Zdechovský and caused a reaction in Russian media.
Following Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, after the fake referendums, the governments in several European capitals protested the move by calling Russian ambassadors and presenting them with diplomatic notes not recognizing the annexation.
Meanwhile, an anonymous Twitter user started a wave of memes that mocked the illegal annexation. He posted a map of Kaliningrad divided between Poland and Czechia and wrote: “It is time to divide Kaliningrad so that our Czech brothers finally gain access to the sea.”
The graphic was retweeted and translated by a Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský. “How can you not love Poles?” Zdechovský added.
Czechs quickly picked up the idea and started to share content referring to recent pseudo-referendums. They even launched a profile of the “new territory” on Twitter.
A Czech petition that is blowing up online states that “Vladimir Putin proved that there is nothing wrong with entering the territory of a foreign country, calling for a referendum, and then annexing it.”
President of Slovakia Zuzana Čaputová also joined the satirical game, mocking the referendums in eastern Ukraine.
So far, the Russians have shown little amusement regarding the Polish and Czech jokes. The EurAsia Daily news site took the situation seriously and called the authors of the mock petition “provocateurs.”
“Zdechovsky said that (…) he supports the idea of the Poles regarding a referendum in the Kaliningrad region and dividing the region between Poland and Czechia,” wrote EurAsia daily.
MEP Zdechovský said in response that he was not surprised by this reaction. According to him, Putin should be prepared that if he annexes Ukrainian territory based on fake referendums, he will start a “discussion whether the country should keep Kaliningrad.” The politician recalled that Kaliningrad, known in Czechia as Královec, was named in honor of the Czech King Ottakar II of Bohemia, who conquered the territory in the 13th century.
“Moscow must be shown that we do not fear its threats and are prepared to support Ukraine in its fight to regain all its territories,” stressed Zdechovský.