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The Minsk Summit 2.0

Categories: Eastern & Central Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Citizen Media, International Relations, Politics, War & Conflict, RuNet Echo
Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

World leaders pulled an all-nighter in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Wednesday in a marathon session of tense, high-stakes international diplomacy.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko welcomed two of the European Union's most powerful leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, as well as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, all with their diplomatic entourages in tow, for a dramatic diplomatic push to stop the escalating violence in eastern Ukraine.

Ultimately, the leaders emerged Thursday morning, after a grueling 16 hours of negotiations, with a peace deal [1] to show for their efforts.

Russians, along with citizens from around the globe, were glued to developments on social media networks as the talks unfolded. And the fact that news was sparse for most of the night, with discussions taking place behind closed doors, barely slowed down the Internet, of course.

The most popular image shared across social networks was probably this picture:


Photo from tvrain.ru

Numerous social media users utilized the photo for political commentary [3] and jokes.

Many of the most widely shared comments and posts likewise combined humor with cutting political undertones. 

A popular RuNet account specializing in dark humor tied news of the recent accidental leak [7] of the upcoming season of the popular Netflix series House of Cards to the tense diplomatic situation in Minsk: 

They're watching the third season of House of Cards.

An unflattering photograph of Vladimir Putin arriving in Minsk and a witty caption garnered Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny's account hundred of retweets.

They sent a body double to Minsk. In case it's a setup.

Another popular item to spread rapidly across social networks was this looped video, apparently showing Lukashenko pulling Putin's chair away as Putin attempts to sit down:


Most of those sharing this amusing clip appeared initially unaware, however, that it was actually news footage [12] run in reverse for comedic effect.

As the night wore on, many social media posts, especially those by journalists, began focusing on the theme of sleep deprivation.

The press in Minsk has gone into sleep mode. Well, I will get some sleep too.  

TV Rain even used a photo of a yawning Poroshenko in a tweet about the negotiations entering the early morning hours. 

Some social media accounts also performed a more serious function. For example, one Ukrainian aide to President Poroshenko posted updates [21] to his Facebook account and the German Foreign Office used Twitter to share breaking news: