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.
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. 💙💛
As the horrors and heartbreak of each day continue in Ukraine the photo of a little six-year-old girl lying lifeless on a gurney in a hospital in Mariupol under the coat she was wearing just an hour or two before, has been seared into my mind. The doctors who fought so hard to try and save her life exclaimed after she died “Show this to Putin.” These simple drawings loudly echo their words as, with broken hearts, we all continue to Stand With Ukraine.
Sixteen beautiful children have been killed in Ukraine according to the Ukraine Minister of Health with heartbreaking images that are hard to see. These sixteen sunflowers painted today are in their memory as we grieve the loss of their young lives together with all those who have lost their lives in these senseless crimes against humanity.
The heroic face and inspiring words of a modern day “David” leading his oh so brave people in their fight against the pure evil of a 21st century “Goliath” who is surely doomed to fail.
“We will defend our state, because our weapon is truth.
And the truth is that this is our land, our country, our children.
And we will defend all of it.”
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, February 26, 2022
The brave Russians demonstrating against their own government across the country in opposition to the war, with more than 1800 arrested, are heroes all, providing a glimmer of hope for an uncertain future and a little light in the darkness as the bombs continue to fall in Ukraine tonight, with the sheltering families and children very much in my thoughts.
Walking in the cold peace of the Pacific Spirit Park this morning, freshly adorned in unexpected new snow, my thoughts were of a different cold, a new Cold War far away but feeling so very close, and of the men, women and children huddled and sheltering underground because of the actions of an unhinged, maniacal despot. Those families and children will constantly be in my thoughts in the coming days and weeks as we all hope for peace and stand with Ukraine.