As we remember all those brave Canadian soldiers who fought and died in 1917 on this day, a day that commemorates the battle of Vimy Ridge, this statue entitled Canada Bereft from the Vimy Ridge Memorial in Northern France seems to express how we are all feeling today and could perhaps even be thought of as Ukraine Bereft as our thoughts every day are of all those who are dying in yet another senseless and cruel war in which the victims are not just brave Ukrainian soldiers but innocent, defenseless children, women, and the elderly all dying together from torture, starvation and murder at the hands of the ruthless Russian army, all war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Wanted for crimes against humanity, the criminal now known as the butcher of Russia, for his merciless massacre of innocent Ukrainian children, men and women, grandparents and parents. Today we learn that many of the over 300 killed in the Mariupol Theatre attack were children and pregnant women sheltering after they had escaped the bombing of the Mariupol Maternity and Children’s Hospital.
This ongoing “Massacre of the Innocents” breaks all of our hearts as it continues unabated, with the fresco by Giotto di Bondoni in the Arena Chapel in Padua as meaningful today as it was when he painted it over nine hundred years ago.
As the relentless bombing continues today, the war crimes against the people of Ukraine, especially the children, by Putin and his nazified Russian army will never be forgotten. Judgement day for him must come soon, whether from the people of Russia who do not support him, or from the newly proposed Nurenberg-style international tribunal. He has joined the ranks of every evil despot in history becoming a modern-day Hitler with crimes against humanity that have no regard for human life, however young, those beautiful innocent children who are always in my thoughts as I know they are in yours.
We walked in the Pacific Spirit Park today after listening to President Zelenskyy’s impassioned address to the Canadian Parliament in which we learnt that ninety seven children have been tragically killed in his beloved country together with so many of the country’s brave men and women and now including three brave journalists. Our condolences and thoughts are with all the families, friends and colleagues grieving today.
This drawing is from a larger piece from 2017 drawn in protest at that time to an event that had produced the same sense of heartbreak and outrage that I know we all feel today. Some of you may remember the full piece can be seen here: “From Spirit Park to Spirit Dark”
These sunflowers are a message of love and support as we continue to Stand with Ukraine.
“Stop the War.
Don’t believe propaganda
They are lying to you”
The words and heroic bravery of Marina Ovsyannikova, an employee of Russia’s Chanel One bursting into their main evening news with her message. On another dark day a brief but unforgettable moment when the light of truth and the strength of a remarkable human spirit shines brightly like a shooting star streaking across the blackness of a starless sky.
This beautiful family killed so cruelly by a Russian mortar in Mariupol from my post two days ago for International Women’s Day are anonymous no longer thanks to an article in yesterday’s New York Times. The photographs of Tetiana Perebyinis and her two children Mykyta, 18 and Alisa, 9 are being carried by their grieving husband and father Serhiy to whom we send our truly heartfelt condolences on his unbearable loss. Please read Andrew Kramer’article, “They died by a bridge in Ukraine. This is their story” so that the lives of the Perebyinis family can never be forgotten and are made as real for you as they now are for me, a heartbreaking story that becomes symbolic of countless thousands of others that sadly we may never know. 💙💛
From Giotto to Picasso, from Guernica to Mariupol, another Massacre of the Innocents today with the bombing of the Maternity and Children’s Hospital of Mariupol, a crime against humanity that is a despicable atrocity that needs us to bear witness to in any way we know how. My drawing today, which will become a painting in due course, is born from a profound sense of helplessness and heartache that I know is felt by us all. 💙💛