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‘Macroner’: The new Ukrainian word for French president’s Putin calls

The verb refers to someone who ‘appears worried about a situation, but does nothing’

A new Ukrainian verb has been invented in response to President Macron’s approach to opposing the Russian invasion Pic: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock

Ukrainian people have created a new verb, ‘macroner’, to express their frustration at the French president’s apparent inaction with regards to the Russian invasion. 

The neologism, which comes from the Ukrainian word ‘macronete’ and may be translated to ‘to do a Macron’ in English, has been circulating on social media platform Telegram. 

It has been used to refer to someone who “appears to be worried about a situation, but does nothing,” and Ukrainian people have reportedly begun to use the phrase: ‘arrête de macroner’ (stop doing a Macron).

It relates to images published on Instagram by the president’s official photographer, Soazig de Moissonnière, showing Emmanuel Macron, unshaved, wearing a hoodie and looking worried while working in the Elysée Palace.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, President Macron has been calling Russian president Vladimir Putin regularly, but these conversations have not yet resulted in anything tangible.

Ukrainian people have been frustrated with some accusing Macron of “being in Putin’s pocket” and Kyiv Independent reporter Illia Ponomarenko tweeting: “I think Macron should stop making all those calls to Putin.

“Putin enjoys being humbly begged.

“Time and again, these attempts to nicely talk him into becoming a human being look increasingly pathetic, if not laughable.”

At the time of writing, the Tweet has received nearly 50,000 likes.

A Ukrainian soldier also told Le Parisien: “I hate Macron,” adding that he is “not helping.” 

The decision of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to visit Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was, meanwhile, applauded by Ukrainians as a symbol of support.

Mr Ponomarenko commented that this trip was a “strong and symbolic move.

“But it will become practical and historic if it results in Ukraine finally getting scores of heavy weaponry and air defence — as soon as possible.”

Zelensky criticises Macron’s refusal to use the word ‘genocide’ 

Yesterday (April 13), President Macron refused to echo the words of US and Canadian presidents Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau in describing Russia’s operations in Ukraine as a genocide. 

“I would say that Russia has unilaterally triggered a brutal war, and that it has now been established that war crimes have been committed by the Russian army,” he said.

“Those responsible must now be found and brought to justice.” 

Mr Macron argued, however, that an “escalation of words” would not result in peace, adding that “I will be careful with the terms [I use] – ‘genocide’ has a certain meaning. 

“Ukrainians and Russians are ‘brother’ peoples.”  

This latter remark elicited an angry response from Ukraine, with foreign ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko calling Mr Macron’s comments disappointing.

“‘Brotherly’ people don’t kill children, don’t shoot civilians, don’t rape women, don’t mutilate the elderly, and don’t destroy the homes of other ‘brotherly’ people. Even the fiercest enemies don’t commit atrocities against defenceless people,” Mr Nikolenko said.

Mr Zelensky added that Mr Macron’s words were “very hurtful.

“I will do my best to discuss this issue with Emmanuel Macron today,” he said during a press conference yesterday, adding that he may not be able to talk to him until today.

The United Nations describes genocide as: “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” by measures including “killing,” “causing serious bodily or mental harm” and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

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