Putin declares military offensive on Ukraine
The Independent

Ukraine’s official Twitter account has shared a caricature of Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin smiling at each other.

The account added: “This is not a ‘meme’, but our and your reality right now.”

The political cartoon quickly racked up 385,000 likes, 160,000 retweets, and 13,000 comments.

The post was published after Russian President Putin announced a “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine. He said they do not plan to occupy Ukraine, and said the operation was to ensure a "demilitarisation" of Ukraine, as well as to "de-Nazify" the country.

It comes days after Putin recognised the rebel-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas as independent states - a move US president Joe Biden called “the beginning of a Russian invasion”.

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Responding to the political cartoon, author Tim Young wrote: “Listen, I'm no international conflict expert... but I'm pretty certain memes arent the way to go when you're being invaded.”

Putin has been compared to Hitler by others, too.

Last night, NBC reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned Russian aggression towards Ukraine as “very evil”, and said: “This, my friends, is our moment. This is the Sudetenland — that's what people were saying there.

“You cannot ignore what Putin is doing. Nobody is, of course, ignoring it, but you cannot take it any lighter than what it is: a total assault on democracy."

Her comparison to the Sudetenland is in reference to Hitler’s annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia before World War Two.

Members of New York’s Ukrainian community have also drawn parallels between Putin and the infamous Nazi leader. Speaking to the New York Post, president of the US branch of the Shevchenko Society Halyna Hryn said the “community is appalled” and added: “It’s reminiscent of Hitler taking over the Sudetenland, and it won’t stop there."

This isn’t the first time the official Twitter page for Ukraine has shared pictures that have sparked conversations online.

In December, the account posted a meme showing different types of headaches, including ones caused by a migraine, hypertension, and stress.

The biggest headache of all, according to the Twitter account, is “living next to Russia”.

According to Yahoo!, the Ukraine Twitter account was set up by Yarema Dukh, Oleg Naumenko, and Artem Zhukov. The trio became politically active during the Maidan Revolution and joined former president Poroshenko’s administration, according to the news site.

Speaking in 2017, Naumenko said: “Humour, even the sardonic kind, is the only thing that allows us to talk about hard topics and see the bright side even in the most tragic situations.”.

For more Ukraine news, follow The Independent's live blog.

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