German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s joy at the country’s World Cup victory has been shortlived after Ukrainian surfers attacked her Facebook page as well as that of French Prime Minister Francois Hollande.
Activists posted tens of thousands of malicious images and insults to the two Facebook pages and Merkel’s office called it a slanderous, racist and extremist “spam attack”, according to the BBC.
"Dear fans of the Angela Merkel site, there is currently a spam attack on this page that floods all posts with certain comments," read a message from Merkel’s media team.
The images posted to the page compare Merkel to leaders from the Nazi era including Adolf Hitler and the foreign minister at the time Joachim von Ribbentrop.
Criticism of Merkel is believed to have originated from Ukraine where the German Chancellor’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has been criticised and most of the comments left on the page relate to Ukraine and Merkel’s relationship with Putin.
Merkel was filmed sat alongside Putin at the 2014 World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro and even with rumours of a rapport between the two, the perception in Germany is that she is against any Russian attempts to annex or destabilise further parts of Eastern Ukraine.
It’s being speculated in Germany that the images have either been posted by those same angry Ukrainians or by a Russian source that is attempting to sour relations between the German and Ukrainian administrations.
Hollande, meanwhile, has been attacked due to the decision by France to cut a deal with Russia to sell a number of Mistral warships to the country.
Since the Ukrainian conflict got underway earlier this year the Internet has been used increasingly to get each side’s point across with one particular attack seeing “Russian” changed to “Nazi” on RT.com.
Correspondents quoted by the BBC stated that the Russia and Ukraine are often accused of besieging media outlets with comments that are sometimes hostile relating to a current conflict and as such the posts aren’t a surprise.