Twitter storm makes #CrimeaIsUkraine trend again



On 30 July, British writer Alex King, also known as the tireless digital activist Glasnost Gone, launched a twitter storm under the hashtag #CrimeaIsUkraine on Twitter to raise awareness on the fact that the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea has been occupied by Russia for six years now, making the hashtag trend in Ukrainian twitter all day.

Editor’s Note

Russia invaded and annexed the peninsula in 2014 following the Euromaidan Revolution that toppled pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.  Since then, the Kremlin militarized the formerly popular Ukrainian holiday destination while the Russian occupation authorities of Crimea keep oppressing pro-Ukrainian residents of the peninsula among which are many Crimean Tatars, members of the indigenous people of Crimes.

The international community didn’t recognize the annexation and imposed sanctions against Russia. In 2016, the UN General Assembly recognized Russia an occupying power.

The online campaign was announced a week before the event:

On 30 July, Twitter users posted thousands of tweets presenting the facts about the Russian annexation of the peninsula, the current situation in Crimea, and called to stop and reverse the Russian occupation.

Twiplomacy battle

The official account of Ukraine on Twitter engaged in the campaign about 10 a.m., reminding that the illegal occupation of Crimea is still ongoing and adding the meme showing the love confession with the words “Crimea is Ukraine!”:

Twitter storm makes #CrimeaIsUkraine trend again ~~It took about seven hours for Russia on Twitter to come up with an idea of how to oppose Ukraine’s three-words meme, “Stop it, dummy!” said Russia in its reply in particular:

Twitter storm makes #CrimeaIsUkraine trend again ~~

However, Twitter’s Ukraine resorted to its absolute weapon, an “ex” joke, “Stop t-ex-ting,” was the final reply that disarmed Russia that stopped any further attempts to tamper with the #CrimeaIsUkraine Twitter storm,Twitter storm makes #CrimeaIsUkraine trend again ~~

A month ago @Ukraine’s  reply “Toxic ex here” to @Russia’s “USSR nostalgia” tweet about Soviet-occupied Ukraine and the now-annexed Crimea received about 40,000 retweets and over 120,000 likes:
Twitter storm makes #CrimeaIsUkraine trend again ~~

Officials and politicians

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry participated in the storm, and its account and those of its officials and various Ukrainian embassies posted messages to support the campaign:

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Austria Olexander Scherba compared Putin’s annexation of Crimea to Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria:

Crimean local Emine Dzeppar, the first Deputy FM of Ukraine, believes that the occupation won’t last long:

MP Inna Sovsun (Golos) supported the campaign too.

Among the foreign officials and politicians who participated in the Twitter storm were former Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Waschuk, MEP Rebecca Harms, US Ambassador to the OSCE James S. Gilmore III, and others.


Activists and average users

Most of the #CrimeaIsUkraine came from various Ukrainian and international activists and common twitter users.

The activists of the InformNapalm community presented their investigation of the participation of Russian military units in the invasion of Crimea:

The campaign Let My People Go reminded that Russia oppresses the indigenous nation of Crimea, Crimean Tatars:

The hashtag was supported not only on Twitter but other online platforms as well. Alex King who was behind the current campaign found that some 82,600 mentions of #CrimeaIsUkraine emerged in Google Search results on 30-31 July:

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