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Russian mass media are using redraws of an artwork by a Ukrainian artist for propaganda

05.01.2023, 13:31

Russian media are using redraws of an artwork by Ukrainian artist Beata Kurkul in their propaganda articles and flashmobs. Beata Kurkul reported this on Facebook.

She posted a screenshot from the Russian website "Novaya Zhizn", where an article titled "Whole World Sings Together: From a Small Village With Great Love" is illustrated with a redraw of Beata's artwork.

In her comment to IMI, the artist said that she browses the Internet about once a month to check who is using her art for commercial purposes without permission.

"The other day, I looked and I saw that it was a redraw of my work. Okay, I opened this Russian site. A child took it and redrew it. But it is unlikely that a child in a village would be able to find it online. That means some teacher brought them this picture and said: "Here, child, redraw this, just put a Russian cockade on him. Like so!" said Beata Kurkul.

If you search the Internet, you can see this child's redraw on at least seven Ryazan websites. However, there is no mention of the redraw's author anywhere.

Another redraw of this artwork can be seen on the "рисуйснами.рф" (drawwithus.rf) website. The redraw is by Svielana Kirilenko, 14. She called it "No need for war".

The original artwork is called "Zhenya and Dasha". Beata made it back in 2014. On it, Yevhen Hladkov, a border guard from the Kharkiv border unit, is holding his little daughter Dasha in his arms. The artist made the artwork to cheer up her husband after he was injured at the Krasna Talivka checkpoint. The man asked Beata to sign the picture "Zhenya and Dasha".

Today, this painting can be seen on one of the buildings of the Mohyliv-Podilsky detachment, in the Khmelnytsky border guard academy. Once, the border guards displayed this picture on a billboard 500 meters away from the separatists' positions; it could also be seen near the "Stalingrad" base.

The Russians liked the picture so much that they borrowed it for their magazine. Of course, the artist received no fee.

"Every now and then I use Google's features to raid the Internet and see where my work may have 'popped up'. During one of such raids, when I upload an image in Google search and it finds where and on what resources it was used, I saw: a Russian library, the Far East, the magazine "Slovo i ... something", about education or patriotic upbringing. My eye started twitching. I thought, this can't be, it must be photoshop. I went and checked. I took the cover image, started checking the cover image. It showed me a few more resources. Yes, these are district libraries. That is, these fools did not even remove the cockade. It was the cockade of our border guard," said Beata Kurkul in her interview to Hromadske Radio back in 2021.

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