Ukraine’s latest weapon in the war: Jokes. Source: AL JAZEERA

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Ukraine’s latest weapon in the war: Jokes

‘We choose to see things through a comic lens. That makes it easier to live through drastic situations.’

A screengrab from Twitter account Ukrainian Memes Forces
A post on the Twitter account Ukrainian Memes Forces mocks Russian President Vladimir Putin [Screengrab/Ukrainian Memes Forces]

By Judith Matloff

Published On 6 Sep 20226 Sep 2022

On August 9, at least a dozen explosions rocked a Russian military base in Crimea.

Russia’s defence ministry avoided assigning blame – saying the “detonation of several aviation ammunition stores” caused the blast – while, for its part, Ukraine’s military played it coy. It did not claim responsibility for the damaged combat planes, nor for a subsequent drone strike on the navy headquarters in the Russian-occupied area.

Instead, Ukraine’s defence ministry mockingly warned on Twitter about the dangers of smoking – sardonically suggesting that Russian soldiers caused the explosions themselves by tossing lit cigarettes.

“Time to head home … Crimea is Ukraine,” read the text on the faux-tourism video it tweeted, in which Bananarama’s 1983 song Cruel Summer is heard playing over footage of shocked sunbathers fleeing a nearby beach as smoke from the blasts looms in the background.

In the days that followed, a barrage of similar lampooning posts appeared on various Ukrainian military Twitter handles.

One shared a World Health Organization advisory that “smoking kills”.

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