As Russia's war with Ukraine escalated last week, a meme involving the embattled nation's verified Twitter account and New Jersey's own verified account started going viral on social media.
The meme is a screenshot of an interaction between a Twitter user called Mitchell and the Ukrainian account.
Mitchell asks: "Why is Ukraine following New Jersey lmao. They only follow a few accounts and New Jersey is one of them 🤷♂️"
Ukraine replies: "cauz they're cool."
The interaction is, indeed, completely real and occurred Friday, February 25, as Ukrainian forces fought to hold off Russian invaders.
Previous to the war, the Ukrainian account mostly celebrated the nation's culture and history, sharing photographs of landscapes and culturally significant moments and figures. Now, the account has been sharing regular updates on its defense effort and information on how people from elsewhere in the world can support Ukraine's independence.
Indeed, as Mitchell pointed out, the Ukrainian account follows only 24 other Twitter accounts, most of which are tied to other European nations.
There are, however, three North American accounts Ukraine follows: Canada, Mexico and New Jersey.
The appreciation between Ukraine and the Garden State is mutual — @NJGov retweeted Ukraine's reply to Mitchell with a pair of blue and gold hearts.
On Saturday, the NJ governor's Drumthwacket estate was lit in blue and gold in support of Ukraine. Governor Phil Murphy added: "We stand with the Ukrainian people as they fight to defend their freedom and independence."