Crimea River: Directionality in Memes from the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Bradley E. Wiggins


The Russia–Ukraine conflict of 2014 sparked political upheaval, military action, and the emergence of Internet memes as a forum for discursive critique among netizens of the affected countries. A qualitative content analysis was conducted of Internet memes posted to the RuNet Memes Twitter account in 2014 and revealed a preponderance of memes that fell into one of two categories: directionally Russian or directionally Ukrainian. Directionality as a thematic category is a novel methodological approach in memes research. While the memes reference a given news story or event, they continued to be consumed and reproduced along similar thematic categories. This tendency to follow a narrative is at once endemic to viral media in general and unique to memes given their remix, parody, iteration, and rapid diffusion.


Russian Internet, Internet memes, Russia–Ukraine conflict, cult of Putin, participatory digital culture

Full Text: