An artwork of a Russian and a Ukrainian soldier embracing each other has sparked outrage on social media. The mural was exhibited in the Australian city of Melbourne. Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, described this “extremely offensive” as an attempt to distort the reality of Vladimir Putin’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, according to a report by News week. Peter Seaton, who created the artwork advocating a “peaceful solution” between the two countries, has now removed it after the backlash.
A thread was shared by Mr. Myroshnychenko along with a photo of the mural on Saturday.
1/ A recently unveiled mural in @Melbourne showing an RU and a UA soldier hugging each other is utterly offensive to all Ukrainians. The painter has no idea of the RU invasion of Ukraine and it is disappointing to see this happen without consulting the Ukrainian community in Melbourne. pic.twitter.com/TCG6s7W9SJ
— Vasyl Myroshnychenko (@AmbVasyl) September 3, 2022
“A recently unveiled mural in Melbourne depicting an RU and a UA soldier hugging each other is utterly offensive to all Ukrainians. The painter has no idea of the RU invasion of Ukraine and it is disappointing to see this happen without the Ukrainian community in Melbourne,” he wrote while sharing the message.
Mr. Myroshnychenko also wanted the mural removed as soon as possible, as Olga Boichak, a sociologist from Ukraine, pointed out that the mural creates a sense of false equality between the victim and the aggressor.
The thread received over 1,400 likes, hundreds of retweets, and countless comments.
“Even promoting peace has been banned in the ‘civilized’ West. The logical explanation is that the overseers of the empire are demanding more war… and we’re not that civilized after all,” wrote one user while sharing the post.
The BBC said in a report that the mural has now been removed. Mr Seaton – known as CTO – has apologized for his work, saying it was “inconvenient” and that he “didn’t think it would be so poorly received,” the outlet said.
Just days after completing his piece “Peace Before Pieces” on Melbourne’s Kings Way, Mr Seaton spent the night painting.
Thousands of Ukrainians have died in the war that began after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 this year. Russia has been condemned worldwide for the move, with the US and many other Western countries imposing sanctions on the country.