(Prints size 100x72 cm)
It's not the first week a circus is on tour on the post-Soviet territory. McDonald's restaurants reopened in Kiev, for the first time since the beginning of the war, pushing the war out into the background. Well familiar clown warmly welcomed Kiev citizens with branded burgers and French fries. Meanwhile, our own special McDonald's works here, in Kherson. It cooks loudly, mainly on the front line all day long, and delivers in ambulances to the city hospitals. The orders are numerous, ambulances didn't run so much even in the midst of the pandemic. Wounded Russian soldiers are brought in different aggregate states: solid, liquid and gaseous, sometimes completely disassembled and heavily roasted. There are rumors that such "products" are being disposed of. They are taken from hospitals without their IDs.
Local, already familiar clowns arranged their own, also familiar circus. They call it "Referendum". Despite the fact, that pro-Ukrainian residents of the region leave en masse, most of the remaining do not support Russia, and those who make decisions are well aware of this. They have succeeded, - it looked funny. Empty polling stations, staged voting for the camera, ballot boxes at markets and grocery stores, armed people walking through houses and apartments, strongly recommending passers-by to vote. Especially result-driven collaborators, in case of refusal, gave residents 24 hours to pack their belongings and leave the region. Most of the population still preferred to outsit the circus tour at home and do not open their door to anyone. The streets of the city were literally empty. Could such a referendum take place? First of all, you need to know at least how many people lived here and how many remain. What the clowns know perfectly well is how many has left, and even who has left. When crossing the last Russian checkpoint, everyone leaving had a passport photographed. That's, probably, where a real vote have taken place. Its result was known in advance and does not depend on the opinion of the local population. Because without it, the main show planned in Moscow on Red Square would not take place. Because the clowns decided that circus must go on… At any cost.