Huge satirical models of Trump, Putin and Zelensky at German carnival parades

Throngs of revellers took to the streets of Germany’s carnival strongholds on Monday, accompanied by floats that satirised the Ukrainian and Russian presidents, German politicians, former US President Donald Trump and many others.

Shrove Monday parades are a traditional high point of carnival celebrations in Cologne, Duesseldorf, Mainz and other places in western Germany, drawing large crowds of locals and visitors.

Germany Carnival Parade
Carnival floats address current political issues both in Germany and abroad, with Donald Trump a particular focus (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

This year, a larger-than-life Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky progressed through the streets of Cologne with a sign reading “To be or NATO be”.

Mr Zelensky wants Ukraine to be able to join the Western military alliance.

Germany Carnival
A float depicting Barbies and Ken, with the characters of Russian President Vladimir Putin Alice Weidel of AfD and Sahra Wagenknecht of BSW (Arne Dedert/dpa via AP)

Another had the former president and 2024 presidential candidate carrying scissors and a US flag cut into the shape of a swastika.

Germany Carnival Parade
A carnival float depicts a reveller unmasking Adolf Hitler as AfD (Alternative for Germany) politician during the traditional carnival parade in Duesseldorf, Germany (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

The war between Israel and Hamas was also a theme.

Germany Carnival Parade
A float depicting an Israel tank, Palestinians and a Hamas militant joined the parade in Duesseldorf (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Germany’s unpopular government came in for lampooning, with chancellor Olaf Scholz portrayed as a sloth and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock as an elephant in a porcelain shop, the German equivalent of a bull in a china shop.

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