« Murals dedicated to Russian soldiers fighting in the Ukraine conflict could be seen on the sides of several schools and the Trade Unions Federation building in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), in footage taken on September 1.
Some of the paintings depicted Alyosha, the Russian boy from Belgorod who famously greeted soldiers every time they passed his house. Others included a guardian angel watching over a soldier, a serviceman reading a letter from home, and two children representing Russia and the LPR, along with mottos such as ‘we’re in this together’.
Olga Kaledina, one of the members of the ‘Katyusha’ officers’ daughters movement, said the installations had been created to support the troops.
« This is entirely the idea of our Katyusha movement member, artist Aleksandra Sesina from St. Petersburg, » she said. « Her husband is at war, on the front line, and she supports not only her husband, but also all the guys who are on the contact line, through her art, through the creation of such murals. »
« It is dedicated to the guardian angel. And this guardian angel protects our guys through prayer. Prayer, it is basically depicted in the letter, which the soldier reads, realising that he is loved and his loved ones are waiting for him at home, » she continued.
According to Andrey Vrazgidiyev, deputy chairman of the LPR’s Trade Unions Federation, the street art also helps them to connect with children in the area.
« Patriotic education is very important for us because of the conditions in which children, schoolchildren study, » he said. « They see how their fathers, brothers, their relatives defend our Motherland, so it is important that children also understand what is happening in our republic in this regard, » he said.
The LPR is one of four regions, also including the Donetsk People’s Republic, Kherson and Zaporozhye, that President Vladimir Putin agreed to allow to join the Russian Federation, signing accession documents in September 2022.
According to Moscow, it followed referenda in which people living in those areas exercised their right to self-determination and requested to join Russia.
Ukraine and its international allies condemned the move, calling it an annexation of Kiev’s sovereign territory.