Ukraine. Cambridge artist Mariya Myronova
Ukraine. Cambridge artist Mariya Myronova
Ukraine. Cambridge artist Mariya Myronova
Ukraine. Cambridge artist Mariya Myronova

‘Russian games series. Propaganda. 2022’ 

Oil on linen canvas. 40cm x 50cm 

Propaganda has become a very powerful tool in Russian war against Ukraine. Millions of people have been fed lies for decades and now have a very strong zombie nation. Highly professionally, carefully selected, polished information is fed through state Russian TV channels. Any ideas different from these statements are considered as false information and are punished by up to 15 years imprisonment. For the generations raised during the Soviet times no viable alternative views exist and for the younger people it is an obvious choice: stay quiet, close your eyes, and you and your family have a chance to live. 

I am a true Ukrainian and have friends and relatives on both sides of the war, in Ukraine,  Russia, and Belarus. I get facts of recent events and experiences from eyewitnesses which paint a true picture of horror in Ukraine. My mum, my sister with three kids, and dozens of close friends had to escape from Russian military-occupied Ukrainian hometowns. Sadly, and very painfully, grandparents in Minks, Belarus, and friends in Moscow don’t see the real tragedy and continue repeating word-to-word TV statements of Russian leaders. Sons’, daughters’, grandchildren’s, sisters’, and brothers’ true facts about Ukraine are not accepted as truth anymore.

In the painting: In order to keep propaganda playing its role in formation of Russian society, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin is an organ grinder turning a crank of the barrel organ in a shape of a Soviet Union most popular TV (Rubin) as the biggest supporters of Putin’s regime are the people in their 50-70th. Inside of the TV are the Russian people with TV sets with the most influential and popular TV channels ‘The First’ Channel and ‘Russia 24’. Putin wears a virtual reality head set showing he lives in his own game without considering the real world around him.

Ukraine. Cambridge artist Mariya Myronova

‘Russian games' series. Unwanted 'Now' or Greed game. 2022’ 

Oil on linen canvas. 40cm x 50cm 

For nearly a year now, every Ukrainian has not been able to wake up from the nightmare. Thousands of people, mothers, and children are thrown all over the world. These beautiful, strong souls are stuck between past and future in the ‘unwanted now’ while the greedy neighbour, feeling the end, destroys everything in agony.

Thank God, European countries are very welcoming and helpful, refugees have all the rights to live and work.  Why not start your life over? From scratch? Work hard and build a new life? But 'NO’…Tears, patriotism, depression, anxiety, fear, love, hope…   they never dreamt of traveling to Europe this way, alone, with kids, without knowing the language. Every morning only one deep thought and hope … how to survive another month and then you can hug your husband, your grandma, and your brother, go back home and sleep in your bed. 12 months behind and still the same dream…. Wake me up!

Ukraine. Cambridge artist Mariya Myronova

The Greatest Showman

We are live witnesses of the bloody show of the 21st century. After more than a year, news about the Russian Federation’s mass attacks on Ukrainian cities doesn’t attract much attention. We got used to the high adrenaline level from the news and the photos of destroyed homes with killed civilians are nothing more than a result of an old long and monotonous show. The greatest showman and his many pathetic little men with puny minds are playing big-boy games… while thousands and hundreds of people suffer and die daily. Despite the Russian plan, the pain and the losses, the Ukrainian nation is getting stronger every day, one big dream and one wish for every birthday since 24 February 2022 is peace in Ukraine and freedom from Russian evil invaders. Slava Ukraine!

In the painting: Vladimir Putin dressed as a magician showman is cutting Ukraine with Soviet Union’s sickle, as most of his power is based on Soviet Union’s mass influence tools. ‘Magician’ choice is coming from the original plan after getting Crimea, to cut the eastern part of Ukraine with glory. Spotlights and a thin frame show the world’s leading countries’ strict monitoring of compliance with the ‘rules of the war’ in an isolated Ukraine despite its extreme closeness to European countries.  World’s 5% Glucose intravenous infusion slow drip keeps Ukraine breathing.   

Ukraine. Cambridge artist Mariya Myronova

The Musical Chair

I keep putting the Russian puzzle together in my head over and over again. 

Why? The first puzzle piece is my Russian granddad, a young penniless Chuvash, sent from Russia to Ukrainian Berdyansk before the second world war. Two years later he died in the Second World War in 1941 leaving my Ukrainian grandma with her 1-year-old son.

The second puzzle piece is my Ukrainian grandma, a girl, whose parents the Soviet government killed and all their land and everything they had was expropriated as part of the collectivization and nationalization. As an orphan, while starving, she was arrested and put in prison for eating the first crops in the fields. She was too young and was told to clean the police station with the ban to study in her life. She never learned to read and worked all her life as a cleaner on the main market square where she could get extra food.

The third piece is my Ukrainian home town of Berdyansk losing hope under Russian occupation.

In the painting: A swimming pool full of blood with a floating Soviet Union ring and the Tsar Chair balancing on top of it. Swimming ring with a nuclear bomb attached to inflating valve. — Today Russian Federation’s almighty one-man power is balancing on the old Soviet one-sided political beliefs, still alive in the older generation with the help of nuclear war fear. 

A cuckoo is sitting on the arm of the Tsar’s chair and a sunset is in the background. In Russia, there’s a popular belief that a cuckoo can predict how many more years a person will live. In this case, the future of the country is questionable with such a political and power hierarchy. 

A faceless Russian army is marching into the pool of blood representing thousands of useless deaths.  

There are birch stakes with Russian doll heads representing victims of the Russian regime. From right to left: Boris Nemtsov was assassinated in the centre of Moscow for being an active liberal politician and a critic of Vladimir Putin. Sergei Magnitsky was killed for exposing corruption and misconduct by Russian government officials. Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist and human rights activist, was killed for reporting on Russia’s political events, particularly the Second Chechen War.

The Ukrainian-style doll is representing many Ukrainian soldiers and civilians tortured by the Russian army.

‘Prisoner’ Russian doll represents many anti-Putin opposition activists now staying in prison. Some of them are Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist sentenced to stay in a maximum-security penal colony; Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian political opposition activist, journalist, author, and filmmaker, former Cambridge University student, who was poisoned twice and imprisoned for anti-war activities last year; Ilya Yashin, the opposition politician, has been jailed for 8,5 years for opposing the invasion of Ukraine; and many more…

These people fight against the strong machine of human rights violations and abuses, fighting for the freedom of thought and speech, against corruption and for a better future for Russia. 

Birds in the sky and a broken TV set are the thousands of Russian scientists, programmers and many highly educated professionals refusing to accept the Russian regime in search of a free better life.