Kaliningrad Accession to Czech Republic Prank Floods Social Media
On social media, Czechs are “rejoicing” at finally having access to the sea. Photo credit: Facebook.
Prague, Oct 6 (CTK) – A satirical proposal for the accession of Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave at the Baltic Sea, to the Czech Republic has provoked a flood of jokes, prank events and memes, as well as humorous reactions from public institutions and politicians, not only in the Czech Republic but also in neighbouring Poland.
The prank is a response to Russia’s hastily organised “sham referenda” about the accession of Ukrainian regions claimed and partially occupied by Putin’s regime, which the international community does not recognize. Moscow annexed the provinces after a “majority” of over 96% of inhabitants of each region approved the measure in the referendum, according to the Russian authorities.
The current satirical campaign promoting the accession of Kaliningrad to the Czech Republic was actually launched in late September by a Polish parody Twitter account, and Czech MEP Tomas Zdechovsky shared the tweet, provoking a lot of reactions.
The idea of the Czech Republic’s right to the area of Kaliningrad has historical grounds, as Kaliningrad (“Kralovec” in Czech and “Konigsberg” in German) was founded by crusaders in honour of Bohemian King Ottokar II in the 13th century. Consequently, its accession to the Czech Republic is completely legitimate, say its supporters, with tongues in cheeks.
To promote the campaign, a Twitter account and website have appeared promoting a visit to the area, and a petition for a referendum to be held on Kaliningrad’s accession to the Czech Republic. On Monday, 10 October, a mock demonstration is to be staged outside the Russian embassy in Prague to promote the “annexation.”
On social media, Czechs are “rejoicing” at finally having access to the sea, while Poles are “looking forward” to the Czech military presence at the Baltic Sea as well as an easier access to Czech beer. Slogans such as “Make Kaliningrad Czech Again!”, “Kaliningrad is Czechia” and “Kralovec Is Ours!” have emerged on Twitter as popular hashtags.
Others are interested in Russia’s perception of the prank campaign, and want to know whether Russians also view the idea as satire.
The Kaliningrad province, situated on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Poland, is the strategic westernmost part of the Russian Federation, divided from the rest of the country. For centuries, Kaliningrad was part of Prussia, then Germany, before being ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II.