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Ukrainians Use Contrasting Images to appeal to Russian citizens: Your Country has Resigned from Civilization

Diptych image contrasting Siege of Mariupol with Siege of Leningrad

Diptych image contrasting Siege of Mariupol with Siege of Leningrad

Traditional Ukrianian Diptych contrasts Mass Graves during Siege of Leningrad to graves in today's Mariupol

Our message may not sway Putin, but we hope to reach the millions of Russians whose assisstance is necessary for him to carry out his brutal killings. Our question for them is: Why? WHY?"”
— Svetlana Shevchenko
MARIUPOL, DONETSK, UKRAINE, March 22, 2022 / -- The Save Ukraine Network is co-sponsoring the Free Ukraine Diptych Campaign, together with Ukraine Now, Mariupol Relief, and churches and synagogues in Mariupol, Odesa, Kharkiv and Kyiv. According to co-founder Svetlana Shevchenko, "A Diptych is a traditional form of Art, popular in Ukraine in the Middle Ages, which combines two paintings together, often joining them with a hinge."

Save Ukraine's Diptych is also a combination of two images, though of a completely different character. The top one shows three Soviet civilians dumping bodies into a mass grave in 1942 during the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi forces. The bottom image is similar, except that it depicts Ukrainian citizens dropping corpses into a mass grave on March 9, 2022 during the Siege of Mariupol. Since the photo was taken, thousands more have been killed by Russian bombardment and dumped into similar graves.

The juxtaposition of the images is meant to show the similarities of the two tragedies, says Save Ukraine's Oleg Kravchuk. "It is especially aimed at Russian President Putin and his supporters, because Putin is a native of St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) and often speaks of his family members who suffered horribly during the Siege. He is familiar with the top photo. Save Ukraine members are carrying this image physically throughout the country and sharing it on social media, as a way of asking the question: "Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, that is the difference between these pictures? Are the victims different? What is the purpose of this invasion?"

March 25 is the Feast of the Annunciation in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and there will be processions of people carrying this modern Diptych, sometimes also with photos of family members and friends who have been killed, through the streets of Mariupol. There will also be a lengthy march from Kharkiv to Kyiv on Orthodox Easter featuring up to 30,000 participants. Another group of 15,000 will walk from Kherson to Odesa.

Similar processions featuring thousands of Ukrainians will occur (depending upon what the Russian military does) on the Jewish Passover beginning April 15, and on St. Theodosius Day, May 3.

Equivalent demonstrations are planned in Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Amsterdam, London, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Capetown, Nairobi, Mumbai, Jakarta, Miami, San Francisco, Calgary, Kathmandu, Delhi, Bangkok, Lima, Amman, Rome, and Cairo.

In addition thousands of Ukrainians will post the Diptych to social media, especially Vkontakte, OdnoKlassniki, and Moi Mir, the three largest Russian social media networks. Others will share the photos on Tiktok, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, though these are unlikely to reach many Russians due to government interference.

"Our message may not sway Putin", says Shevchenko, "who seems determined to exterminate the Ukrainian nation as efficiently as possible, but we hope to reach the millions of Russians, both military and civilians, whose assistance is necessary for him to carry out his brutality. Our question for them is: Why? WHY?"

Supporters who want to add their own images, perhaps of deceased loved ones, to Save Ukraine's processions, can send them to
Those who wish to support the project can help by going to

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