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Ukrainian Memes Forces or @uamemesforces is a Twitter page devoted to posting pro-Ukraine memes about the country’s war with Russia, which began in early 2022. The account typically provides commentary on developments in the war, mocks the Russian military and government, and counters online Russian propaganda narratives about the conflict. Ukrainian Memes Forces also launched a subreddit, /r/uamemesforces, in March 2022.
The page was created in February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine and started the war. As of August 2022, the page has a quarter of a million followers. Some believe the meme page may be influential in shaping global opinion, as it is followed by a large number of journalists and government officials in the West.
The account’s first meme, posted on February 23rd, 2022 (seen below) as the Russian invasion began, received almost 150 likes over six months.
Through the first few months of the war, the account would post up to a dozen or more memes a day. In the summer of 2022, it settled into a posting tempo of two to four memes a day.
On March 31st, 2022, a subreddit related to the Twitter account, /r/uamemesforces was created, which gained just under 1,500 followers in four months.
On July 25th, 2022, the account added watermarks to its memes. The first meme to feature a watermark was one comparing the Russian and American militaries.
The account has promoted and fuelled many memes related to the conflict. Early on, it participated in making Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into a Chad-like symbol of Ukrainian resistance, as seen in a meme (shown below, left) posted on March 13th, 2022, receiving over 1,200 likes in five months. The account also reacted to viral media about the conflict, including a viral video of an older Ukrainian woman ordering a Russian soldier to put sunflower seeds in his pockets so that when he died in battle, flowers would spring up. The March 15th meme (seen below, right) riffs on that and received almost 8,000 likes over the course of five months.
The Ukrainian Memes Forces also made many Ukrainian Farmers vs. Russian Military memes, posting dozens of memes on the topic including one (seen below left) picturing Putin studying a tractor manual. The account has frequently commented on the political situation around the war, criticizing the European Union and NATO. One such meme (seen below right) posted on May 19th, 2022, received over 37,000 likes and used the Soldiers Holding Up Society to depict Ukraine holding up Europe.
The meme account also responds directly to Russian narratives about the war which it finds false. This Angry NPC Wojak meme argues against the Putinist view of NATO expansion, which was used as a justification for the invasion by the Russian government in early 2022. It was posted on March 28th, 2022, and received almost 21,000 likes in four months.
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