News and Commentary

Russia Tweets About Unity With Ukraine. Ukraine Trolls Them With A Simpsons GIF.

Twitter is always a source of entertainment due to hilarious gifs, mockery of all kinds of stupidity and, of course, President Trump’s infamous tweeting, but a Twitter exchange between Russia and Ukraine involving a gif from The Simpsons is one of the more amusing exchanges to happen on the social media platform.

Ukraine started the thread by throwing shade at Russia:

Russia responded with a call for unity, but Ukraine followed up with the perfect response:

The Simpsons gif stems from an episode called Simpson Tide, where Russia reveals that the Soviet Union has been revived.

Twitter proceeded to explode:

Ukraine even corrected the grammar of one verified tweeter:

As entertaining as the exchange was, it does reflect underlying tensions between the two countries: (H/T: Foreign Policy)

On Monday, in his meeting at Versailles with French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned a royal Anna of Russia. He was referring, of course, to Anna, daughter of Kievan Rus Prince Yaroslav the Wise. She became French royalty when she married King Henry I Capet in 1051.

The short version of why this is a problem: Russia traces its Orthodox, tsarist roots back to Kievan Rus — which is located in what is today Ukraine. That’s a problem for Ukraine when it means that the Kremlin downplays or doesn’t acknowledge its historical origins are in Ukraine, or insists Ukrainian history is actually Russian imperial history — by, for example, saying that the woman they whom remember as Anna of Kiev, is actually Anna of Russia.

Indeed, both Ukraine and Russia claim historical ties to the land, which is believed to be the origin of Orthodox Christianity in the region. Ukraine itself has been a part of both the Russian empire and the Soviet Union; the country declared independence in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tensions between the two countries flared in 2014 with Russia’s invasion of the Crimea, 60% of which consists of Russians.

The Twitter exchange, while humorous, highlights concerns about Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s plans to rebuild the Soviet Union. President Obama did nothing of importance after Putin invaded the Crimea; how will President Trump respond if Putin attempts something similar?

Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter.