Accessibility links

Ukraine's Crisis In Internet Memes


One of the many Ukraine-related memes that have been doing the rounds on social media

One of the many Ukraine-related memes that have been doing the rounds on social media

The crisis in Ukraine has spawned a steady stream of Internet memes, some lighthearted, others biting, all deeply political.

Here are some of the most popular.

"Neo-Nazi" Ukrainian leaders

A favorite meme of pro-Russian Internet users, centered on Moscow's claims that the new authorities in Kyiv are cozy with neo-Nazi groups.

Doormats

Yes, in Ukraine even doormats are being drawn into politics. This one invites Kiyv residents to wipe their feet on ousted President Viktor Yanukovych:

"So the doormat doesn't get stained," it says in the tweeted pic below. People living here are obviously peeved with Washington, which has staunchly backed Ukraine's new Western-leaning leadership.

Gas Crisis

Ukraine is currently embroiled in its third "gas war" with Russia, which dramatically raised tariffs following the ouster of Moscow-friendly Yanukovych and has now halted supplies.

This rather unfeeling meme advises Ukrainians who have "no gas and are cold in winter" to get outfitted for the chilly weather.

Although Moscow itself has denied any irregularities, rumors persist that the new Ukrainian leadership is siphoning off Russian gas transiting through the country to Europe are proving resilient.

"Putin is a d***khead (khuilo/huilo)"

The battle cry of hardened pro-Ukraine activists, given a recent boost by Andriy Deshchytsya, until recently Ukraine's acting foreign minister, has inspired many a meme-maker, such as this one

David Cameron

The British Prime Minister posted a very serious photo of himself discussing Ukraine with U.S. President Barack Obama over the phone...

...leading to a fair amount of ridicule.

Jen Psaki

U.S. State Department spokeswoman has been a favorite target of Russian social-media activists, who have ridiculed her for condemning "carousel voting" during a separatist referendum in Ukraine before admitting she did not know what the term referred to.

Her detractors have even come up with a new word, "psaking," or talking through one's hat.

This one says: "At home with Jen Psaki"

"We all know what's happening in eastern Ukraine," says another VKontakte post. "Separatists are separating with a separator."

Yarosh's Business Card

A hugely popular meme referring to Russian claims that the business card of Ukrainian ultranationalist Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the group Right Sector, was found at the scene of a deadly shootout in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainians have been poking fun at the accusation.

Here, Yarosh's Right Sektor group is "blamed" for the fall of a Russian satellite in May.

"It's even in Putin's chest pocket!" says this tweeter:

"Save Donbas People" (from Ukraine)

Eastern Ukrainians who oppose the Ukrainian army's operation against separatists in the east have been posting pictures of themselves – or their kids -- holding "Save Donbas People from Ukrainian Army" placards.

"Save Donbas People" (from Russia)

Pro-Ukraine activists have started their own spinoff of the "Save Donbas People" placard meme.

Separatist Pets

Separatist sympathizers, using the #сепаратяка ("little separatist") hashtag, have been rallying their pets to the cause.

This mostly involves donning them with the black-and-orange St. George's ribbon.

There's even rabbits!

-- Claire Bigg

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG