Královec joke reaches new heights with mock 'referendum' in Prague

The satirical protest was one of demonstrations in the Czech capital drawing attention to Russian agression – and hypocrisy. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 11.10.2022 11:53:00 (updated on 11.10.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Monday in Prague saw Czechs gather to poke fun at Russian aggression in a mock demonstration supporting the annexation of Kaliningrad from Russia.

Approximately 200 protestors congregated to hold a pretend referendum on returning Kaliningrad, or Královec, “back to Czechia,” ČTK reports. Kaliningrad is the capital of the Russian region with the same name, which is a Russian semi-exclave between Lithuania and Poland.

The mock referendum follows weeks of internet memes campaigning to restore Královec under Czech control, in a parody of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decisions to annex countries and hold referenda without permission, or approval from international organizations. 

Other heads of state, such as the president of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová, have gotten involved in the joke, ridiculing Putin's overreach.

"Given that Vladimir Putin created such a minor precedent in international law by predetermining the outcome of referendums in advance, we know how the referendum will turn out,” explained Tomáš Kotrouš, one of the event's organizers. 

As had been expected, an overwhelming majority "voted" to "restore" Královec to the Czech Republic, with 98 percent in support.

The event organisers have also introduced a useful charity initiative. Kotrouš highlighted the “Gifts for Putin” charity organization that is collecting money for the Ukrainian military. It has already gathered funds for an army tank to be sent to Ukraine.

On a more somber note, hundreds of people gathered in the center of Prague yesterday to protest against the latest Russian attacks on Ukraine – recent strikes in the country that killed 19 people and injured over 100, according to ČTK.

Calls to increase Western support of Ukraine were led by Hlas Ukrajiny (Voice of Ukraine) and Občanský rozcestník (Civic Signpost) in the protest.

The attack comes a few days after European heads of state met for a major summit in Prague, where European defense was one of the key topics. Earlier this week, Czechia’s minister of defense, Jana Černochová, stated her wishes to reinforce the country’s military and infrastructure in a bid to safeguard Czechia from Russian threats.

Other demonstrations in support of Ukraine are planned for Tuesday evening (Oct. 11) and for this coming Saturday (Oct.15t), both of them in Wenceslas Square.

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