'Pathetic' Kiev Christmas tree divides social media

The Christmas tree is tall and thin. It is cone-shaped with few branches visible. Image copyright Petro Poroshenko
Image caption This photo was shared on Twitter by Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine

"This is the worst Christmas tree of all time."

It may seem harsh, but this comment from a frustrated Ukrainian is indicative of the mood circulating around social media.

You may well be reading this and wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, there have been worse Christmas trees in the past - with questionable shrubs in the UK's Cornwall and Leicester coming to mind.

But it might make more sense if you know that Kiev has form as a city with a sensational annual Christmas tree. Last year's offering was so bushy that it pulled down power cables on its way to taking pride of place in the capital's St. Sophia Square.

This year's effort has been derided for being too thin, with many lambasting it by comparing to the spectacular tree in the Western city of Lviv.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Left: The Christmas tree in Kiev. Right: The tree in Lviv.

'Were those assembling it drunk?'

Much of the consternation surrounding the Christmas tree comes down to its width, with Ukrainians making unfavourable comparisons to carrots and rockets on social media.

"Every year it gets worse and worse," said one person on Instagram, while another wondered if the people putting it together were inebriated.

Meanwhile, a Facebook user did not hold back with his frustration.

"This is the worst Christmas tree of all time," he said. "The way the square is decorated is pathetic."

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'Beautiful'

Not everyone on social media shared such high standards.

The tree was described as "cute" on Instagram, while one person said that the complainers were "impossible to please".

"Every year everyone says that this year's tree is the ugliest," she said. "If it had not been put up, you would have complained."

Elsewhere, video of the moment that the lights were switched on was shared across social media, with some calling the ceremony "beautiful".