(Prints size 70x112 cm)
   All the same Kherson, Ukraine. A casual conversation between two passers-by: “They should also give us money, not only humanitarian aid!” That's right, you can't argue here. But there is more to it, worth thinking about. Especially for those whose money “they” should give out. Life is getting better, as promised. Kherson strip clubs have resumed their work. In the door handles of parked cars, you may find the usual prewar advertising flyers inviting to leave some deficit cash in deficit panties and stockings of local dancers. I don't know if they accept rubles already.
   On Russian armored vehicles, rockets, shells and bombs, you may sometimes see toasts. “Zа Детей!(For Children!)”, for example. Probably, they also write “Za здоровье!(For health!)” and “Zа тех, кто в море! (For those who are at sea!)”. But if the soldiers of the Russian army were honest with themselves, they would now write one single toast: “For the face of Putin!” Alas, according to their laws, they can be legally and safely honest with themselves only verbally and without witnesses. There is a risk of coming to an unexpected solidarity that a dead Putin is now more useful than a living one. The corpse does not need to take care of its face, it will be more willing to save the lives of people, international relations and the economy of his country. But not only for this reason, me and many other Ukrainians bury the dictator. The first I saw was Liosha Say with a coffin and a swan lake dancers from the times of the August coup of the State Emergency Committee in Russia. This is a strong and symbolic image, however, such a death will not solve the conflict. In 1991, before the collapse of the USSR, behind the ballet on Russian television, the essence of totalitarianism was hidden - the absence of a citizen as a subject of the country's political life. He was always turned off from it and did not want to turn on when such an opportunity arose. He is a TV viewer watching the events. He may like something, then he supports it, or he doesn’t like it, then he quarrels with the TV set. For Russia's lame identity, imperialism is a crutch. Without the personal freedom it needs to live a fulfilling life, it seeks the only way it knows to be meaningful and feel pride: defeating other nationality, some hypothetical Nazi or a capitalist. Will it be able to live in the same form with a sense of disgrace after the military defeat in Ukraine? I doubt it. If it doesn't get its freedom, another dictator will follow, spin the wheel again and put on the old records. It is not Putins who deprive their peoples of their freedom, the peoples create them by surrendering their responsibility for their lives. It’s not the dictator we bury here, but the slaves in ourselves! The Ukrainian who could say: “Okay, guys! I will sing the Soviet anthem, walk with the ribbon on the victory parade and gaze at Lenin with tears in my eyes, just don’t touch me!” The dictatorship is not resting on the strength of the ruling elite, but on the weakness of the population. Fear of responsibility and power pushes people to give it away. Fear is a dictator in ourselves, and if it is impossible not to be afraid, then let's be afraid that the progressive world will lose its values. Where will we run then?
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