Satirical musings supporting the annexation of Russia’s Kaliningrad region to the Czech Republic have sparked an avalanche of jokes on social media in recent days.
On Monday, students from Prague’s Faculty of Philosophy met in front of the Russian Embassy in Prague. The event aimed to draw attention to Russia’s recent actions, which hastily organized votes in the occupied parts of Ukraine.
Monday’s recessive action in Prague 6 was in response to internationally unrecognized votes in parts of Ukraine that the Russian Federation controls or occupies. “We also decided to call a referendum and put pressure on the historic town of Královec to join the Czech Republic,” explained Tomas Kotrouš, an event organizer and student at Prague’s Faculty of Arts. “We just want to make fun of Russia in a nice Czech way,” he added.
The original idea of linking the Czech Republic with the Kaliningrad region stems from history. The capital of the area, today’s Kaliningrad, or Královec in Czech, was founded in the 13th century by crusaders in honor of the Czech king Přemysl Otakar II. For centuries, Kaliningrad was part of Prussia, then Germany, and after World War II, the region fell to the Soviet Union.
Make Královec Czech Again
More than 7,000 people expressed interest in the event on social media, and several hundred citizens arrived at the site.
Speeches were also made at the meeting. For example, Michal Stehlík, a prominent Czech historian and former dean of Charles University, took the floor. His research focuses on Czech and Slovak history from the late 19th century to contemporary history. In his speech, he condemned the referendums themselves and the Russian government’s argumentation on the events in Ukraine.
Tomáš Zdechovský, a member of the European Parliament from the KDU-ČSL, also expressed his remote support.
A referendum with a clear result
The organizers also prepared an improvised ballot box on the spot, into which participants threw their votes for the referendum. The outcome was clear in advance – similar to the staged referendums on annexing Ukrainian territories to Russia.