February 27, 2023

A Wall of Resistance


A Wall of Resistance
Dmitry Skurikhin kneeling in front of the wall covered with names of Ukrainian cities in red and holding a sign saying "Sorry, Ukraine."  Telekanal Dozhd, Telegram.

In times when dissidents in Russia are forced to remain silent, a picture of a shopkeeper from a town near St. Petersburg went viral on the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine. He can be seen holding a sign with the words "Sorry, Ukraine." The walls behind him are covered with the names of Ukrainian cities painted in red and the words "Peace to Ukraine, Freedom for Russia."

The 47-year-old entrepreneur, activist, and former municipal deputy, Dmitry Skurikhin, has not hidden his opposition to the invasion. The Russko-Vysotskoe native drives a car with "Net Voine" (No to war) written on it and refuses to shave his beard as long as President Vladimir Putin remains in power. However, his loudest statements are on the wall of his shop in his village.

In early March 2022, Skurikhin grabbed social media attention by putting up pictures of destroyed residential buildings in Kharkiv and one of a girl who died from shelling. Ever since March, the activist has written the names of Ukrainian cities that come under attack on the facade of his shop.

According to Skurikhin, the police haven't been too harsh on him because they aren't in a city. He also assures he's not received much backlash from the community. Yet, authorities have taken down his posters and fined him multiple times for his displays on the wall and Facebook posts. In April 2022, Three unidentified men wrote "Traitor" on his walls. 

When asked if he was afraid, Skurikhin responded: " I'm scared. (...) [but] I can't stop campaigning. "

 

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