Frau Merkel and Social Networks
Dmitriy SEDOV | 19.01.2015 | OPINION

Frau Merkel and Social Networks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has no social network account of her own. At that many politicians use social communications to follow public opinion trends. They are right. Advisors are one thing, the public opinion is something else. Take, for instance, three main pillars the Angela Merkel’s foreign policy is based on: 

- The political system of Ukraine meets the standards of European democracy;

- The economic sanctions against Russian could be lifted after Crimea is returned to Ukraine;

- The NATO expansion to the East strengthens peace and security.

All these issues are in focus of social networks discussions, including prominent politicians. Some of the posts should be sent to the Chancellor’s office. On his Facebook account Czech President Milos Zeman has responded to critical comments from specialists in Ukrainian history regarding remarks he made about Stepan Bandera, questioning whether they are actually aware who he really was.

«I received your note in which you defend Stepan Bandera. Are you aware that he said, 'I will kill every Pole between the ages of 16 and 60'? If you aren't, then you are in no way Ukrainists. And if you are, do you agree with it? If you do, then we have nothing more to talk about», Zeman wrote.

Speaking of the present era, Zeman recalled that under Viktor Yushchenko’s presidency a decree was issued posthumously awarding Bandera the title of Hero of Ukraine. A similar move is now being considered by the Ukrainian authorities regarding former commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army Roman Shukhevych, who ordered the execution of thousands of Jewish people in Lviv in 1941. «In no way can I congratulate Ukraine on such national heroes», Zeman emphasized. Before that the neo-Nazi march in Kiev reminded Czech President Milos Zeman of Hitler's Germany. He said something was «wrong» both with Ukraine and the EU which didn’t condemn it. Zeman was commenting on the appalling scenes, which showed thousands of Ukrainian nationalists holding a torchlight procession across the Ukrainian capital to commemorate the 106th birthday of Stepan Bandera, a Nazi collaborator and the Ukraine nationalist movement’s leader during World War II. 

The history knows examples of warriors eating toadstools to dissipate fear before the battle. Ukrainian leaders also behave the same way. The statement made by Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Berlin on the Soviet Union attacking Germany and Ukraine during WWII sounded very much like the words pronounced by someone under the intoxicating effect of mushrooms. 

Really, it’s a great pity Frau Merkel does not read posts in social networks. Going through the exchange of remarks between Milos Zeman and Ukrainians she would get acquainted with the Czech President’s post in which he publicly reminded everyone that the Crimea is lost to Ukraine, «The Crimea never belonged to Ukraine, except for the period when the then bit strange leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev gave it as a gift to Ukraine». The social networks users are involved in hot discussions on the mess that «a bit strange leader of the Soviet Union» created by giving the Crimea away. Some questions are addressed to Angela Merkel:

- How could the Crimea be returned to Ukraine – should the results of referendum when 97% of local population supported the reunification with the Russian Federation be annulled? Should the decree issued by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union on February 19, 1954 transferring the Crimean Oblast (region) from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian SSR (Socialist Soviet Republic) be brought into force again? Should someone act the same way as Nikita Khrushchev did back then and swallow up two glasses of cognac before taking the decision and signing the corresponding documents? 

There is one more post by Milos Zeman. He compared the conflict in the east of Ukraine with the civil war in Spain (1937-1939) and said it makes no sense to provide economic assistance to Kiev under the circumstances. 

It would serve the purpose if Frau Federal Chancellor got acquainted with all points of view expressed by Germans on Ukraine. By reading the posts Frau Merkel would realize that the majority of Germans want no conflict with Russia. Having summed up all the posts together for sending them to the Federal Chancellor’s office it may be expedient to add some excerpts from the recent interview of Mikhail Gorbachev with the German weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel. An honorary citizen of Germany who has done so much to free this country from the postwar inferiority complex, Gorbachev made a scathing remark describing the activities of the current German government. Having accused Germany of interfering in Ukraine's crisis, he said, «The new Germany wants its hands in every pie. There seems to be a lot of people who want to be involved in a new division of Europe. Germany has already tried to expand its influence of power towards the East - in World War II. Does it really need another lesson? 

The «prominent German citizen» explained to other Germans and Frau Merkel why the Russian new military doctrine views the NATO expansion to the Russian borders as one of main threats to its security. According to him, the recent NATO expansion in response to the Ukraine crisis represented large change in direction for Western powers. «The expansion of the bloc in the east [of Europe] has destroyed the European security order which was written in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975», Gorbachev claimed. «The NATO’s expansion is a 180-degree turn drawing us away from the Paris Charter of 1990, which was made together with all European states to finally leave the Cold War in the past». Gorbachev warns that the continuation of the conflict in Ukraine may lead to another war in Europe, «A war of this kind would unavoidably lead to a nuclear war. Anyway, declarations and propaganda from both sides make me fear the worst», Gorbachev said. «We won’t survive the coming years if someone loses their nerve in this overheated situation. This is not something I’m saying thoughtlessly. I am extremely concerned».

There was a vibrant response to the interview in social networks. Germans approved the interview unlike the official press which did not give it due attention. Advisors use official press while politicians use advisors. No way can a politician escape becoming a prey to illusions because he or she will see the picture of the world painted by federal press instead of real life. Perhaps a Facebook account would stand Angela Merkel in good stead? She would know a lot more about what’s going on around her. 

Tags: Czechia  Germany  Ukraine  Merkel 

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