UrbanRubric 11:13 23 Mar 2023

I'll draw Ukraine for you: TOP murals reminding the world of support for Ukrainians

One can talk about war differently, but you must do it constantly. All over the world, artists support Ukraine with their paintings, sculptures, installations, and, of course, murals. Rubryka has collected 20 of the most interesting murals and graffiti created in support of Ukrainians in various countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa.

What is the problem?

The world should know and not forget about the brave and desperate struggle of Ukrainians against russia. It is necessary to speak loudly about the tragic events that are happening right now in the very heart of Europe, and it can be done in many different ways. Art is one of the most powerful mouthpieces.

What is the solution?

Street art can convey certain messages, feelings, and thoughts to many people. From the very beginning of russia's war against Ukraine, the works of artists began to appear worldwide, highlighting the events in Ukraine and condemning russia's aggression.

Powerful murals in the colors of the Ukrainian flag not only show the indomitability of Ukrainians but also remind residents of different countries that Ukrainians are fighting for universal values. Thanks to their energy and talent, each of the artists and activists who help people hear Ukraine is defending it in their own way.

Paris, France

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This mural appeared in the French capital a few days after the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the russian army into Ukraine. The street artist Seth wrote on Instagram: "For my Ukrainian friends." In the comments, the author noted that the little girl symbolizes the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people fighting against the russian invasion. The work entitled L'Ukraine en marche ("Ukraine in action") was also printed. The author directed all proceeds from the sale of drawings to charitable assistance to Ukrainians.

By the way, the artist has long-standing friendly ties with Ukraine and has created murals in Ukrainian cities more than once. For example, Seth created a famous "Renaissance" mural on Andryivskiy descent in central Kyiv jointly with Ukrainian artist Oleksii Kyslov.
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"Vive la résistance ukrainienne!" ("Long live the Ukrainian resistance!") — a mural with this slogan can be seen in the heart of Paris near the Center Pompidou for Contemporary Art. The author of the image was the Ukrainian artist Mykyta Kravtsov. The plot of the mural echoes the plot of the painting by the French artist Eugène Delacroix "La Victoire guidant le peuple sur les barricades" ("Freedom leading the people"). The girl depicted on it with the profile of a Greek goddess with a flag and a rifle in her hands has been associated with the concept of "freedom" for almost two centuries.

Prague, Czech Republic

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On March 16, the russian occupiers cynically dropped bombs on the Mariupol theater, where thousands of civilians were hiding from shelling. As a result of the airstrike, hundreds of Mariupol residents, including many children, died. At this time, a mural appeared in Prague with a girl hiding famous fairy-tale heroes under the Ukrainian flag: the American Mickey Mouse, the British Shaun the lamb, the Czech Mole, the Polish Lelik and Bolek, and the German bee Maya.

The mural was created by Chemis, a street art artist of Kazakh origin who lives in the Czech Republic.

"Ukraine is now fighting to protect its future and its freedom, as well as ours. As a father of two children, I cannot imagine the helplessness, pain, and fear parents in Ukraine feel. We have all seen footage of dead bodies, destroyed cities, and gyms full of women with children and older adults. Continue to help and show what values we stand for," the artist appealed to people on social networks.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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In the Netherlands, Ukrainian farmers who took away armored vehicles from the occupiers were immortalized in graffiti. Since the beginning of russia's war in Ukraine, Ukrainian farmers have become famous worldwide. Photos and videos of Ukrainian farmers, who took away, assembled, and towed away russian trophy equipment during the fighting circulated in world publications and social networks. Among dozens of units of various trophy equipment were tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers, and tractors. Ukrainian farmers even got the pride of the russian army — the heavy flamethrower system TOS-1A Solntsepyok.

Vilnus, Lithuania

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This touching mural appeared on the wall of the Lithuanian Military Academy in Vilnius.

The mural's author, Linas Kaziulionis, created it as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine. He was inspired to create the mural by a photo of a documentary photographer who captured the moment of a Ukrainian soldier saying goodbye to his beloved. Also, the artist Linas Kazulionis called to help Ukraine, doing everything possible for this.

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And in the summer of 2022, another mural dedicated to Ukraine appeared on the "moscow House" in Vilnius. Artists from Lithuania, Ukraine, and Estonia took as a basis a photo depicting Tetiana Drobotya, a media representative of the volunteer center "Palyanytsia" — an organization that actively helps Ukrainian defenders in the Zaporizhzhia region.

"Of course, we did not choose the "moscow House" by chance. This building was supposed to become a symbol of russia's power, and we will now immortalize in it what causes convulsions in the kremlin — Ukraine's powerful rebuff. In a certain sense, we are giving the "moscow House" to Ukraine. We can do it all together — artists, entrepreneurs, and all people of goodwill," the author of the idea, Lina Slipaviciute, said in a press release.

Wales, Great Britain

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The British street artist with the pseudonym mydogsights also did not ignore the topic of the war in Ukraine. He created this mural on one of the streets of the capital of Wales, Cardiff, because he wanted to share his emotions about the russian invasion of Ukraine. On it, the author depicted the eye of a person who sees the explosions in Kyiv. The powerful work gained great popularity and distribution on the network. The artist decided to release it in printed format and direct all the profit from the sale to help Ukrainians. According to the author, this is the least he can do for Ukraine as an artist.

"We've all sat and watched this terrible situation unfold, and although it's not much, I wanted to do my best to highlight my sadness and anger at the russian invasion. The tear speaks for itself. A terrible, terrible situation," the artist wrote on his Instagram.

Gdansk, Poland

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A mural has appeared in Gdańsk, on which the President of the russian federation, putin, is depicted together with two other bloody dictators — Hitler and Stalin. It was created by the local artist Piotr Jaworski, known under the pseudonym Tuse. Commenting on his work, the artist noted that putin's acts are guided only by his imperial aspirations and nothing else.

"There were no economic reasons for the war. This is something personal for him," the artist wrote.

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During the year, dozens of murals and graffiti in support of Ukraine were created in Poland. But the mural in the photo above is special — it was dedicated to Ukrainian women by the famous Polish artist and poster artist Andrzej Pongowski. It is a tribute to their strength during the difficult times of war and a symbol of the struggle for freedom. According to the author, he was impressed by the power of Ukrainian women because today, they have to bear all the responsibility for the family and children. The artist embodied his admiration in a silhouette image of a woman in blue and yellow, with flowers and symbols of peace. Near the image is the inscription: "panna wolna," which means "free lady."

Germany, Berlin and Frankfurt

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A mural with a symbol of peace, a dove holding a blue and yellow olive branch, decorated the wall of one of the Frankfurt houses. In this way, the artist Justus Becker showed solidarity with Ukraine. Justus has many friends in Ukraine, but the idea to paint a mural came to him not only because of his closeness to Ukrainians. The artist said that it is necessary to express one's position at such a time. According to him, "the one who behaves neutrally in this situation supports the aggressor."

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In Berlin, street artists created a mural about Ukrainians who lost loved ones in the war. The mural called "Absent" is dedicated to "all people who do not choose war, but lose their loved ones in it," its authors explained the mural's meaning.

Riga, Latvia


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Latvia is one of those countries that have been at the forefront of helping Ukraine since the very beginning of russia's large-scale aggression. Latvians have always been leaders in making important decisions for Ukraine. For a year, they have assisted Ukrainians with weapons, equipment, and humanitarian cargo.

On a mural in Riga, the capital of Latvia, a Ukrainian girl falls into the arms of a Latvian girl. Both are dressed in the colors of their countries flags. "Together, we are the power," — says the mural.

Riga even sent 11 modern passenger buses to Kyiv. Each bus has a print of the same iconic hug mural done in Riga by a Latvian artist.

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New York and Chicago, USA

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In New York, the building at the corner of 1st Avenue and 14th Street (Manhattan) is decorated with another mural supporting Ukraine, created by the artist Sashko Danylenko. In the illustration, one can recognize iconic elements of New York (Statue of Liberty, Chrysler Building, and Empire State Building) that form the trident, the coat of arms of Ukraine. The mural was created with the support of Razom for Ukraine organization:

"We created this mural to keep Americans' focus on Ukraine creatively," the organization's president Dora Khomyak said. "The mural is located in a part of New York where many young people and students live. It is also an opportunity for them to easily transfer aid to Ukraine by scanning the QR code. And this is also a reminder that New York, where the mayor raised the Ukrainian flag, is a city that will stand with Ukraine until victory!"

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In Chicago, a mural dedicated to Ukraine was created by two American artists — Konrad Edmonds, nicknamed Face, and artist Sechor. The latter was born in Chicago, grew up in Lviv, and at the age of 15, moved to the USA again.

The mural is located in the so-called "Ukrainian" district of Chicago. It depicts a Ukrainian woman who symbolizes the strength of the Ukrainian spirit and the courage of the people of Ukraine to defend their freedom.

The Wall — Vienna, Berlin, Geneva, Marseille, and Ankara


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In November 2022, Ukrainian and European artists presented a new art project, The Wall. As part of the art project, Ukrainian and international artists unite to create murals in five cities — Vienna, Berlin, Geneva, Marseille, and Ankara — to show unity and resistance to the aggressor country.

"The Wall project is a symbol of resistance, stability, and protection that fences off Europe from war," says project curator Katya Taylor. "At the same time, the name is associated with the cult album of Pink Floyd, a rock opera that tells the story of a hero who is fenced off from the whole world by a wall behind which he fights with his inner demons. But Ukraine is dealing with an external demon."

The first in the series was a mural in Vienna, created in collaboration with Ukrainian Mykyta Kravtsov and Frenchman Vincent Paronneau (pictured above). The mural "The Stripes of Freedom" illustrates a bright future and freedom. When creating it, the artists reinterpreted the famous female portraits of Gustav Klimt. At the same time, they added Ukrainian and European symbols to the work to reflect the common.

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"Democracy Flower" is another mural of The Wall project, located in Berlin. The mural depicts a flower similar to a sunflower, on which freedom of speech, an independent free trial, and the right to education "sprout." The Ukrainian artist Andriy Kalkov and the German artist Denys Schuster painted this mural.

"Petals are symbols of democracy, and torn handcuffs are the right to a fair trial. Those stars are a symbol of Europe and the European Union, and the letters are East and West," the German artist explained the work.

St. Gallen, Switzerland

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The "Rooster from Borodyanka," symbolizing the indomitable Ukrainian spirit, adorns the city of St. Gallen in the eastern part of Switzerland. On the mural is an inscription in Ukrainian: "No war."

The clay rooster became famous worldwide after a photo of the wall of a destroyed house in Borodyanka spread on social networks, on which a kitchen cabinet with a clay sculpture of a rooster on top miraculously survived after the attack by russian troops. A cabinet with rows of plates and a decorative clay figure of a rooster is almost the only thing that survived in the destroyed section of the house.

In the spring of 2022, the russian military shelled the destroyed houses for a month, preventing the locals from dismantling the rubble under which people were. Later, the same figurine, which became a symbol of the resilience of Ukrainians, was given as a gift to the then Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, during his visit to the capital of Ukraine.

Tbilisi, Georgia

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There is also a mural dedicated to Ukraine in Tbilisi. The author was the artist Oleksandr Korban, who represented Ukraine at the Tbilisi Mural Fest that year. The mural appeared in front of the building of the russian interests section at the Swiss Embassy in Georgia.

Georgia knows well what a war with russia is like. On the night of August 8, 2008, the first European war of the 21st century began. The small but proud Georgia decided to be the first European country to say "no" to russia's aggression. Unfortunately, the miracle did not happen: the Georgians lost in the five-day war. The Georgian authorities are trying to balance Kyiv and moscow, but Georgian citizens massively support Ukraine in its resistance to russia's aggression. Georgians are the largest foreign group fighting in units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Idlib, Syria


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The drawing on the wall of a house bombed by russian troops in Idlib, Syria, is even more eloquent. "Solidarity of Syrians with Ukrainians" is how the artist Aziz Al-Asmar signed his work.

Nairobi, Kenya

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In March 2023, the Ukrainian mural-triptych "Cultural Grains" was opened in Nairobi, Kenya. The name "Cultural Grains" is symbolic. It emphasizes cooperation and exchange between Ukraine and Africa. The project examines such themes as the colonial past, national identity, and sustainability.

Even more useful solutions!

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To draw even more attention to the events in Ukraine, foreign masters of street art have come to Ukraine. The French street artist Christian Ghemy, better known as C215, created graffiti in Ukrainian colors on destroyed buildings and equipment in Kyiv, Bucha, and Hostomel.

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After the liberation of the Kyiv region from the occupiers, the English artist Banksy, whose graffiti is known worldwide, visited Ukraine, as always incognito. He created seven pieces of graffiti — in particular, in Kyiv, as well as in Irpin and Borodyanka.

One of his most discussed works is a boy throwing a judoka on the tatami mat. In the latter, one can guess the features of russian president putin, who supposedly has a "black belt" in judo.

On February 24, the anniversary of russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Ukrposhta, the Ukrainian postal operator, put into circulation a new stamp called "PTN PNH," which depicts this very Banksy graffiti created on the ruins of a building in Borodyanka, the Kyiv region.

мурали на підтримку українців

After the liberation of the Kyiv region from the occupiers, the English artist Banksy, whose graffiti is known worldwide, visited Ukraine, as always incognito. He created seven pieces of graffiti — in particular, in Kyiv, as well as in Irpin and Borodyanka.

One of his most discussed works is a boy throwing a judoka on the tatami mat. In the latter, one can guess the features of russian president putin, who supposedly has a "black belt" in judo.

On February 24, the anniversary of russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Ukrposhta, the Ukrainian postal operator, put into circulation a new stamp called "PTN PNH," which depicts this very Banksy graffiti created on the ruins of a building in Borodyanka, the Kyiv region.

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His street art can be found near the Bucha City Council, on the Central House of Culture destroyed by the russians in Irpin, and on the ruins of the nearby stadium.

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In his Instagram, the artist shares that he was told a story that moved him on the first day of his trip. A woman from Bucha, Olha, lost her 8-year-old daughter after the russian bombings. Once, Olha dreamed that her daughter told her, "Mom, I would like to have a little sister." Therefore, Olha decided to adopt a child the same age as her daughter, who lost her parents due to the war.

This story inspired the artist to create the mural in the photo above.

TVBOY captioned a photo of his work as follows: "Children are sacred."

This material was created by the online media outlet Rubryka within the framework of the "Ukrainian Rapid Response Fund" program, implemented by IREX, with the support of the US State Department. The content is the sole responsibility of the Rubryka online media outlet and does not necessarily reflect the views of IREX or the US State Department.



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