War posters in Lviv

you never know at what point does the perception of daily life change in a country that goes to war. It is difficult to understand how people who, until last night, taught in a gym, worked in companies, factories, shops, universities, in the countryside or had their own businesses now combine their life in the shelter with activities related to the conflict. in Ukraine today everyone pitches in in some way to support their country: collecting food and clothing, joining the front or filling, for example, sandbags that act as parapets at checkpoints or cover the windows and windows of historic buildings.

Since the start of russian invasion advertising panels with messages referring to the new situation began to proliferate throughout the territory. They are everywhere: in buildings, public roads and national highways. Where before commercial, banking or telephony products were advertised, they now read quotes and phrases addressed to the civilian and military population but also to the enemy, always on the blue and yellow background of the Ukrainian flag. In addition, there are much more elaborate posters, graphic designs accompanied or not by a text in Ukrainian or Russian.

The posters try to boost the morale of Ukrainians

How do you explain that in such a short time the main avenue of Lviv is lined with these posters, as are the roads that connect the city with the center and the east of the country or with the same border with Poland? Simply because the local authorities, the country’s artists, neighbors and volunteers have made it possible.

“The future of Ukraine is in the hands of each of us! Support and join the defense troops!”

All the messages written on them appeal to identity and national unityThey are trying to sow the certainty that Ukraine will win this war with a lot of effort. There are literary references in them such as the nationalist poet Taras Schevchenko, or simply phrases that were born to be printed on these panels. The slogans in Ukrainian have only one goal: to raise the morale of the national population, of all those who are at the front or defending their locality, of the army.

“Ukraine baptized Moscow. For Moscow the bell tolled in Ukraine”

This poster reminds us that Catholicism entered Moscow through the Ukraine. “Ukraine baptized Moscow. And for Moscow the bell tolled in Ukraine.” That is funerals for Moscow will be held in Ukraine.

“Russians, go to the…”

The dedications in Russian go directed at the invader. Like in that poster where a woman dressed in blue, representing Ukraine, puts a gun in Putin’s mouth, and says: “I’m not your pretty.” It is the answer to an expression that Russians say a lot and that Putin has used to refer to Ukraine: “Like it or not, my beautiful, hold on”.

War posters in the city of Lviv. cropper

There is usually no literature on the posters aimed at Russians. They are only warned in a more or less friendly way that they are not welcome here and that they must leave, whether they like it or not, sooner or later they will end up doing it. Because if something has been forged in this conflict, it is a national identity that already existed, but that now flourishes throughout the country, strengthened, proud and highly motivated.

Like that woman, with a crown of flowers, an assault rifle and a traditional Ukrainian shotgun, who imposingly covers entire facades of buildings in Lviv. A tired, strong woman who represents a victorious country after much fighting and having left many things on the way. That poster is everywhere. And that woman is Ukraine.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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