November 30, 2022

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Internet satire upsets Russians: Czechs joke about Kaliningrad annexation

Internet satire upsets Russians
Czechs joke about Kaliningrad annexation

Internet satire about the Czech Republic’s annexation of the Russian part of Kaliningrad is currently putting the Russian sense of humor to the test. After the lightning vote, pranksters envision a Beer Stream II pipeline that would deliver beer from Prague.

The Czech attack on the Russian Kaliningrad region has caused a stir in online networks in recent days. With Russia approving the annexation of four Ukrainian regions last week, many users suggested that the formerly German city of Königsberg should be annexed into the Czech Republic – after a referendum, of course. Among other things, Czech citizens were called on to gather in front of the Russian Embassy in Prague next Monday under the title “Make Kaliningrad Czech Again”.

In particular, users from the Czech Republic and Poland contributed to the online phenomenon with jokes and memes. “It’s time to divide Kaliningrad so our Czech brothers can go to sea,” wrote one Polish user on Twitter under the nickname “Babies Internet” (Internet Pope) – and attached a map showing the Russian exclave bordering Lithuania. And the Baltic Sea is divided into a Polish and Czech half.

Polish Twitter user Tomasz Komentasz posted a picture of an aircraft carrier “Karel Gat” “leaving the Kaliningrad base for the Baltic Sea”. Particularly famous memes include Russian President Vladimir Putin, calmly sitting on the phone and asking, “What’s the situation in Kaliningrad?” In the following picture he is worried and calls out what “Ahoy” means. “Ahoj” is a Czech word for “hello” and “bye”.

Many netizens suggested a subway line between the Czech Republic’s second-largest city, Brno, the Polish capital, Warsaw, and Kaliningrad — or a “Beer Stream II” beer pipeline that would deliver the world’s homegrown Czech beer from Prague to Kaliningrad.

“Russians don’t have a great sense of humor”

Christian Democrat Czech politician Thomas Stekowski helped popularize the internet stunt by tweeting it – although he provoked furious reactions in Russia. The news portal “Eurasia” wrote about a “reconstructionist” tweet and called the authors of the humorously intended petition for Kaliningrad annexation “provocateurs”. “Russians don’t have a great sense of humor,” Zdechovsky responded on Twitter.

Historical background to the joke: Kaliningrad, the present-day capital of Russian excavations, was named Königsberg by German knights in the 13th century after the then Bohemian king Premisl Otagar. Königsberg then became part of Prussia first and then the German Empire. In 1945, at the end of World War II, East Prussia was divided between Poland and the Soviet Union – and the area around Kaliningrad remained with Russia after their dissolution.

The Czech Republic currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union and has provided significant humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine against the Russian war of aggression.

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