Australian artist removes Ukraine-Russia mural

An Australian artist has painted over a street mural showing Ukrainian and Russian soldiers hugging, after a community backlash.

The Melbourne artwork advocated for “a peaceful resolution” between the two countries, creator Peter Seaton says.

But some have likened the three-storey mural to Russian propaganda.

Seaton – known as CTO – has apologised for his work, saying it was “clumsy” and he “didn’t think it would be so badly received”.

Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and Russian forces have been accused of war crimes since they invaded in February.

Critics said the work – titled Peace Before Pieces – drew a false moral equivalence between the two sides.

“What would people think if a mural featured a rapist and a victim hugging?” co-chair of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, Stefan Romaniw, said in a statement.

“Trying to be ‘even-handed’ and accepting a false narrative that ‘all we need is peace’ in this case supports evil.”

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