NATO Article 5

NATO Article 5

Part of a series on 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine. [View Related Entries]

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NATO Article 5 is a clause in the 1949 treaty establishing the NATO alliance between the United States, Canada, and the majority of European countries. According to Article 5, an attack on one member of NATO should be interpreted as an attack on all members of NATO. This means that if one NATO country is attacked, even other NATO country is obligated to go to war.

As tensions around the world heated up in 2022, especially after the Russian Invasion of Ukraine many feared that Article 5 might be invoked and lead to a world war. Memes such as the Poland Wojak Pushing Nato Article 5 Button meme responded to this anxiety with jokes and dark humor.


Article 5 was signed as part of the NATO Treaty in 1949. In those years immediately after World War II and at the beginning of the Cold War, capitalist democracies in the Europe and North America felt the need to bind together as a counterweight to the Soviet Union and its allies. The NATO Treaty created an obligation of mutual defense and an umbrella of protection particularly for smaller countries in Eastern Europe.[1]

After the dissolving of the Soviet Union in 1991, new countries like the former Soviet republics of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia joined NATO. The government of Russia under Vladimir Putin saw this as a threat, saying NATO expansion into Eastern Europe was aggression against Russia, even though the alliance and Article 5 are defensive.[2]

The only time NATO Article 5 has ever been triggered was after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, when the United States asked other NATO countries to help it fight Al Qaeda.[1]


Article 5 was increasingly referenced in memes and discussions following the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Often, memers feared that Article 5 might pull the entire NATO alliance into a war with Russia, and could be the way that WW3 started.

On November 15h, 2022, after a missile landed just over the Polish border with Ukraine and killed two, many feared Poland would view this as an attack and invoke Article 5. The missile was identified as Russian-made, and some argued it might be a Russian missile that had accidentally or intentionally crossed the border. Others argued it might be a Ukrainian air defense missile Thea accidentally crossed the border. The attack happened during a massive Russian bombardment of Ukraine's power grid and civilian infrastructure.[3]

For example, Twitter's @BoxesBoi [4] tweeted a Robert Downey Jr.'s Comments meme on November 15th (seen below left) about the prospect of Poland triggering Article 5, earning over 32,000 likes in two days. Others on Twitter and Reddit focused on using various faces from the Wojak family to represent different responses to the news, such as @Vasilje_gr, who earned almost 2,000 likes for a tweet of this nature on November 15th (seen below right).[5]

SendMangleYiff @BoxesBoi Nov 15 Literally everyone after Poland declares Article 5. I am about to die in a nuclear war 280 3,578 32.1K ←] Shaq_IV @Vasilje_gr NATO SHOULD INVOKE ARTICLE 5 I'M READY FOR WWIII " 10:41 PM Nov 15, 2022 · Twitter for Android 179 Retweets 17 Quote Tweets 1,915 Likes :

The Wojak most frequently used in Article 5 memes, however, was Psycho Wojak. On Reddit's /r/greentext, a pro-Russia 4chan meme depicting several European NATO countries as Psycho Wojaks earned 13,000 upvotes.[6] Often, these Psycho Wojak memes were used to imply aggression.

: Anonymous (ID: vHgxoJ9J Russia For F--- Sake # EJ 03/23/22(Wed)09:47:37 No.368806510 1647997240264.png 507 KB PNG Russians? Can you at last, misfire a rocket. Any of us. We were preparing for years, so much years, for this moment. Don't disappoint us. We are inching for NATO article 5.

After American President Joe Biden and others stated that the stray missiles were Ukrainian and not Russian, some memed about the possibility of Article 5 being triggered against Ukraine, which likely would not happen.[7] For example, a Meme Man meme on Reddit's /r/dankmemes describing this fear earned over 100 likes on November 17th.[8]

russia shot a missile into poland which would trigger article 5 it was a ukrainian aa missile that missed its target article 5 goes for ukraine aswell Panik Kalm Panik

Various Examples

YOU DON'T WANNA F--- AROUND AND FIND OUT WHY AMERICA DOESN'T HAVE FREE HEALTHCARE. Archduke Ferdinand: I'm the only person a world war has been fought over Two polish grain farmers: made with mematic Russian missiles into Poland made with mematic Alumnos NATO not getting involved

NATO hin POLAND WAITING FOR REASON TO ARTICLE 5 PINK VENOM Riri Fenty @WinnieBlackpink Nov 15 World War III (WWIII) is trending because Russian missiles crossed into Poland and killed 2 people. They might invoke Article 5 and the year isn't even over. 684 I REALLY WISH I WEREN'T LIVING THROUGH A MAJOR HISTORICAL EVENT RIGHT NOW! 8,001 61.5K monarch the great @OneMonarch Two When you wake up from a power nap and see Poland, Russian missiles, and Article 5 with 2 dead trending. 7:55 PM Nov 15, 2022. Twitter for Android 4,425 Retweets 271 Quote Tweets 36.7K Likes :

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Top Comments


I love how people far away from possible conflict say "DO THE FUNNI POLAND". It seems like wars have long become a reality show for the internet or people's understanding of this horror is limited to dude-bro shooters/movies.
I guess warcoomers once again prove they'd rather see people die for their wet dreams and entertainment…

Whatever… I'm not gonna participate in this topic.


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