As Ukraine experiences one of the most difficult stretches in its young history as an independent state, it came as a surprise to many Ukrainians when German chancellor Angela Merkel was spotted sitting and talking with Russian president Vladimir Putin recently at the World Cup in Brazil, while French president Francois Hollande refused to cancel the impending sale of two warships to Russia.
Taking issue at what they consider to be a betrayal, a number of Ukrainian social media users then took to the Facebook pages of these Western leaders to vent their anger.
Towards the German Merkel, Ukrainian users directed a flurry of messages stating, “Danke Frau Ribbentrop!,” a reference to Joachim Von Ribbentrop, the German foreign minister who signed the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union in 1939.
The campaign, which is centered around a Facebook hashtag, has been revived in recent days after the crash of the Malaysian Boeing, a tragedy which Ukrainian patriots believe to be indirectly a result of insufficient opposition by Western leaders to Russia’s actions.
To the French president, Ukrainian users offered sarcastic words of gratitude for “helping Ukrainians die.” (“Merci pour le Mistral à la Russie, Monsieur le Président ! Vous aiderez les Ukrainiens à mourir !”)