Conflicts & War

Signs of war: Ukraine fights back with humor, outrage, faith

Odesa, Ukraine, Apr 4 (EFE).- The billboards that dot Ukraine’s streets and highways have been given an update since Russia launched its invasion, with slogans of encouragement, humor and messages of outrage toward invading forces.

Billboards no longer try to flog products but instead aim to cheer up Ukraine’s troops, appeal to divine protection, and seek to convince the Russian military that this is not their fight.

“Russian soldier, stop. Remember your family. Go home with a clear conscience,” and “Special offer: See Ukraine and die. Cocktails included,” are a few examples of the new messages scattered across Ukraine.

On the streets of the southern city of Odesa, some 150 km from the frontline, it is common to see signs in the national colors of blue and yellow signed by the Army, Navy, Police and also churches.

They rally support for troops, urge citizens to enlist in the army and try to instill confidence in the population.

“The Army protects your peace of mind. 4.5.0.”, says one sign. In Ukrainian military language, the three numbers mean there is no danger in sight.

“In our confidence, your strength,” says another, while “We will protect our homes, we will protect Ukraine. Enlist in the territorial defenses,” offers a telephone to enlist with the army.

Russian soldiers are the target of other billboards: “Russian soldier, stop. Don’t take lives for Putin. Go back with a clean soul”, “Don’t be a murderer, go away”, “Russian soldier, stop. How are you going to look into your son’s eyes?”

And some resort to humor, like the sign that offers Russians a trip to Ukraine: “See Ukraine and die. Cocktails included,” in a nod to the Molotov cocktails civilians have been producing en masse.

To counter Moscow’s rhetoric of war, some posters refer to history, as is the case in a city that resisted a two-month-long Nazi siege.

“1941, fascist occupiers. 2022, Russian occupiers,” says one sign.

Another describes the letter Z, which has become the Kremlin’s pro-war symbol, as “a new swastika for a new fascism.”

Around 85 percent of Ukrainianians are religious and the nation’s different Orthodox Christian churches have also taken to sending messages to the population: “God will give strength to his people” or “Holy mother, protect Ukraine” are just some of the signs that can bee spotted on Ukraine’s streets. EFE


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