Czechs Troll Russia With 'Annexation'

They claim exclave of Kaliningrad is now Czech territory
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2022 8:40 AM CDT
Updated Oct 9, 2022 3:55 PM CDT
Czechs Troll Russia With 'Annexation'
A view of central Kaliningrad, Russia.   (AP Photo)

Russia isn't the only nation in Europe that can claim to have annexed part of another country after an extremely dubious referendum, according to Internet jokesters in the Czech Republic. In posts that went viral this week, Czechs claimed their country had annexed Kaliningrad—a Russian exclave that's surrounded by Lithuania and Poland—after a poll on Twitter. They noted that the city of Kaliningrad, which was the German city of Konigsberg until the territory was transferred to the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, was named after a Czech king 800 years ago, reports the New York Post. Supporters joked that the annexation would finally give Czechs access to the Baltic Sea.

"Since the city was founded in honor of the Czech king, it should pass into the hands of the rightful owner—the Czech Republic," a petition signed by more than 18,000 people reads, per Newsweek. "As Russia showed us in Crimea and is now showing us in the east of Ukraine, it is perfectly fine to step onto the territory of a foreign state, announce a referendum there and then annex the territory." A satirical Twitter account has been started under the name the Czechs propose giving the territory. "After a successful referendum, 97.9% of Kaliningrad residents decided to merge with the Czech Republic and rename Kaliningrad to Kralovec," it claims.

The mock campaign got a boost when Czech politician Tomas Zdechovsky, a European Parliament deputy, shared it on Twitter, the Moscow Times reports, though at least one Russian news site reported the proposal as serious. "I think the Russians take themselves too seriously, both in terms of politics and international relations," Zdechovsky said, per the Post. "We need to hold a mirror up to them more and more and show that we are not afraid of them and their threats." (Read more Kaliningrad stories.)

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